Be Prepared: What to Keep in Your Car Emergency Kit
Chances are, you’ll never find yourself in a situation in which you’ll need an emergency kit in your car. But emergencies do occur, and proper preparedness will greatly improve your safety. Any number of problems can occur that can leave you stranded on the side of the road – running out of gas, mechanical failure, a flat tire, or terrible weather. As unlikely as these situations may be, it’s good to know that you’ll have what you need to stay warm, fed, and hydrated for a few days.
Emergency Preparedness in the Age of Cellphones
Now that just about everyone has a cell phone, and most areas of the country have cell service, we often assume that any emergency we might find ourselves in can be easily remedied with a phone call. It’s true that a cell phone can be your best hope of rescue in an emergency, but what if your phone runs out of battery power? You’ll want to keep a car charger in your vehicle at all times, and at least one source of backup power for your phone. If your phone has a replaceable battery, buy an extra battery, and keep it in your car at all times – half-charged, preferably, to prolong the battery’s life. Otherwise, keep a solar/hand-crank/battery powered charger on hand.
Your Car Emergency Kit
Although a cellphone is a very good emergency item to have, you might find yourself without cell service. And if you’ve far enough off the beaten path, it may be several hours before help arrives. That’s why it’s important to stock the following items as well:
- Wool Blanket and Hand Warmers
- $20 in Cash
- Pen and Paper
- Roadside Flares
- Water and Food (non-perishable, calorie-dense)
- First-Aid Kit
- Plastic Whistle (to signal for help)
- Waterproof Poncho
Again, the chances that you’ll ever need to use these items are relatively slim, but it’s always better to have these items and never use them, than to need them and not have them.