Assembling an Emergency Car Kit: The Basics and Beyond

Whether it’s a summer road trip, a winter commute or just a little excursion with the kids, it’s never a good time to be stranded on the side of the road. That’s where an emergency car kit can help. Filled with essentials to help you weather a range of calamities, it’s a stowaway in your trunk that can offer peace of mind.

Here’s a rundown of the basics — a number of add-ons you may not have thought of — so you can build out a roadside emergency kit you can rely on.

Basic Emergency Car Kit

Every car kit should begin with some general emergency supplies. Here are some of the essentials recommended by the National Safety Council and Ready.gov:

Spare tire, wheel wrench and jack
Jumper cables
Basic tool kit and/or multipurpose tool
Local road maps (in case your GPS and phone are without power)
Flares or reflective triangles
Blankets
Car cellphone charger
Drinking water
Food (nonperishables, like protein bars or dried fruit)
Flashlight and extra batteries
First aid kit
Fire extinguisher
Duct tape

Ready.gov also suggests keeping emergency numbers in your phone so that you can contact family, your auto insurance company and roadside assistance or a towing company.

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Roadside Assistance Gives Drivers Peace of Mind

Driving can be unpredictable. You never know when you’ll need a hand on the road. Find out more about Roadside Assistance options and choose the one that’s right for you.

Learn More About Roadside Assistance

Customize Your Kit: Other Helpful Supplies

You can probably picture a scenario where a basic kit simply isn’t enough. Is there a baby in tow? Are you driving in snowy season? Here are some additional car supplies recommended by Ready.gov, the American Red Cross and The Survival Mom, that may help:

Baby Items

A few essentials can save the day if your normally well-stocked diaper bag runs short. Consider keeping these items on hand:

Formula
Bottles
Diapers
Diaper cream
Wipes

You may also want to supplement with additional items that make sense for your own baby, like a blankie, toy or pacifier.

Pet Supplies

If your furry friend is a frequent car companion, it makes sense to stow these supplies for him, too:

Pet food
Water
Feeding/watering bowls
Leash
Chew toy or other comfort item

Sanitation Items

It may not be the first thing you think of, but basic sanitation items can be very helpful when you’re stranded in the car. Having these items on hand may be helpful:

Four-pack of toilet paper
Disinfecting wipes
Hand sanitizer
Feminine products
Zipper bags in various sizes to hold trash and wet items

Weather Gear

Consider adding these items to your kit depending on the season and weather:

Ice scraper and shovel
Sand or kitty litter (to aid tire traction)
Hand/foot warmers
Rain ponchos
Battery-powered fan
Sunblock
Winter/summer hats
Insect repellant

Boredom Fighters

Sometimes it takes a while before you or a professional can repair your vehicle and get you back on the road. A few distractions can help keep tempers in check:

Deck of cards
Books
Notepads and pens

Once you assemble your supplies, you’ll want to store them in sturdy container, like a large vacuum-seal bag or a plastic storage bin. But don’t just forget about it. Experts say it’s important to check and refresh supplies once or twice a year, so they’re in good condition for whatever the road throws your way.

The post Assembling an Emergency Car Kit: The Basics and Beyond appeared first on The Allstate Blog.

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