What to Keep in Your Car to Be Prepared for an Emergency

Getting caught in bad weather, unexpected car problems or even an accident can leave you stranded on the roadside.

Even in today’s world where our phones make emergencies a little easier, it’s important to be prepared for any situation, especially when bad weather does hit like it will in a few months, or even weeks.

We’ve complied a list of items you can keep in your car to help make getting stranded or stuck on the side of the road a little easier to handle.

  • Flashlight – A flashlight is a given for your car especially when the sun sets early. A flashlight will be handy if you ever need to change a tire and for so many other situations.
  • Tire-Pressure Gauge – It is much more common for your tires to get low in colder weather. By keeping a tire-pressure gauge in your car, you can ensure your tires are inflated properly.
  • First-Aid Kit – Having a first-aid kit in your car can be extremely useful in so many different situations from helping yourself to helping others on the road.
  • Owners Manual – Keeping your owner’s manual in your car can be useful if there are things you can adjust when car problems do arise.
  • Tire Changing Tools – This is a given, but some still don’t have them in their car. Tire-related problems are one of the top reasons people get stuck on the side of the road.
  • Multi-Purpose Flashlight/Emergency Beacon – If you do ever get stuck on the side of the road, this beacon can double as warning signals and light to help you stay safe especially in areas where there’s a lot of traffic.
  • Multi-Tool – A multi-tool will give you the ability to work on a variety of problems on your car without carrying an entire tool box around.
  • Fuses – Blown fuses strand thousands of cars year after year, a small box of fuses can prevent a lot of headaches.
  • Jumper Cables – When the weather cools down, your car battery can give you problems. Having jumper cables on hand will make it easier if you have to ask someone for a jump start.
  • Tape – You never know when duct tape will come in handy to help get your car back on the road long enough to get it to a repair shop.
  • Garbage Bag – Changing a tire in the rain can be made a lot less messy if you place garbage bags on the ground before climbing around to change the tire.
  • Gloves – Gloves are especially handy when you need emergency car care on the side of the road in the cold weather. They can also provide protection for your hands in any weather.
  • Blankets – During the colder months, the difficulty involved with getting stranded is only magnified. Having blankets on hand can help minimize the struggle you’ll face in colder weather. And if you do have to stay somewhere overnight, you’ll be happy to have any added warmth especially blankets.
  • Fix a flat – Sometimes using a canister of fix a flat will help you get to a safer location to change a tire and they often suffice long enough to get your car into a repair shop if needed.
  • Road flares – Flares are another way to help you keep safe and they can also help others find you if you are stranded.
  • Fire extinguisher – Hopefully, you never have to use it, but if your car does catch on fire, you’ll be glad you had a fire extinguisher.
  • Extra Clothes – Extra clothes are especially important in the winter if you ever do get stranded for a few hours or more. Extra clothes can help you stay warm and give you something to change into if your other clothes get wet.
  • Extra Water – Your typical 0.5 or 2 liter water bottles will expand and won’t break when frozen, so they are easy to just have a few in your trunk year-round. They can be used in a pinch if you have a coolant leak to avoid overheating from not having enough fluid in the cooling system.
  • Snacks– A few granola bars and maybe some hard candy is a good idea if you get stranded for a long time like the 10-hour Atlanta traffic jams last winter when an unexpected ice storm hit. Vehicle breakdowns aren’t the only factor that may leave you stranded.

Additional Recommended Kits

If you’re looking for convenient ways to stock your car with emergency essentials, here are a couple kits that will definitely help in an emergency situation. What I like about the kits is they have duct tape, multi-tools, jumper cables and a few other things already on our list.

Winter Severe Weather Travel Kit – This kit includes a number of essential items including a strobe light, first aid kit and folding shovel.

AAA 42 Piece Emergency Road Assistance Kit – The AAA 42 piece emergency road assistance kit includes: 1 AAA car care guide, 1 AAA membership brochure, 1 8-gauge booster cable, 1 flashlight, 2 AA batteries, 1 emergency poncho, 1 safety vest, 1 roll of duct tape, 1 2-in-1 screw driver, 6 assorted sizes of fuses, 1 shop cloth, 4 cable ties, 1 reusable zip lock bag, 19 pieces of first aid, 1 AAA storage bag.

Compact Jump Starter – You may also want to invest in the gadget we discuss in the video here. It can come in handy in a ton of different situations.

One Final Tip

One way to ensure you’re always taken care of on the road is to join AAA. If you get in an accident or need assitance, AAA Auto will come to your rescue.

Use this unique code: AAR2713 at aaa.com/utah to get the $17 enrollment fee waived.