Customizing Your Emergency Car Kit

Imagine: it’s late at night. You’re driving down a winding road when you feel the steering wheel tugging, resisting your steering command. You slow down and approach the shoulder. Once stopped, you step out of your vehicle to find a flat tire. Are you prepared?

If you don’t have the supplies it takes to remedy a flat tire, then likely you’re ill-equipped for being stranded. But we can help you fix that with a well-stocked emergency kit. But before you go spending thousands of dollars to prepare for any situation, including a zombie apocalypse, stop and consider your mechanical capability and means. That will guide you to put together a really useful emergency kit.

Must-Haves for Every Emergency Kit

There are some staples that every driver should have, regardless of what vehicle they drive, conditions they expect to encounter or capability of performing DIY maintenance. These gotta-have supplies include:

  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Warning triangles, LED signals and/or flares—something that helps direct traffic around your impaired vehicle
  • Extra coolant (a gallon should suffice)
  • Extra motor oil (make sure to get the right viscosity for your engine)
  • Spare tire (a donut at the very least, a full-size replacement if there’s room for it)
  • Jack
  • Tire iron
  • Ice scraper
  • Blankets
  • Non-perishable snacks

These supplies may help you get out of a number of jams or at least provide some relief until roadside assistance can reach you. Speaking of which, have the number for your roadside safety agency of choice readily available.

What Do You Need for an Emergency

Beyond the basics, what you need for an emergency kit depends on what vehicle issues and/or road hazards you are likely to encounter and your level of skill when it comes to vehicle maintenance.

For those who would prefer to wait until a tow arrives, your emergency kit needs to contain items that can sustain you if your wait is more than a few hours:

  • Potable water
  • Non-perishable food (we recommend enough food to provide every person traveling in your car enough calories for a full day)
  • Whatever you prefer in the way of fire-starting technologies—lighter, matches, flint, etc.
  • Tarp or canvas that could act as a make-shift shelter
  • Change of clothes and shoes

Some of our suggestions are tailored to travelers who may be adventuring into the wild where population is scarce. If that’s where you’re headed, some form of self-defense isn’t a bad idea either…just don’t carry anything that you’re not licensed and/or experienced handling.

For those who feel capable to take on a bit more in the way of emergency repairs, your emergency kit should include:

  • Jumper cables
  • Tire sealant/patch
  • Tire inflator

If you’ve got the trunk space and money to spare, hauling around an extra battery, especially in winter, is a good idea, too.

Packing Your Emergency Kit

Once you assemble all your kit contents, your next step is to organize them. When packing your kit, put large items at the bottom and the ones you might frequently need at the top. To keep everything together and open up some trunk space for groceries or sports equipment, get a durable container to house your kit.

For more of these steps, get in touch with Quanz Auto Body.