Emergencies on the road are a fact. If you drive, at some point in time you will be faced with a road emergency. A flat tire, a dead battery, a leaking radiator or a broken fan belt, are just a few of the common problems we may face when we travel by car. No one can predict when they’ll have an emergency along the road, mechanical or health related. The best we can do is to be prepared at all times.
Having a minor emergency, such as a flat tire in the middle of the road when you have a cell phone handy and a friendly person on the help, is great convenience. On the other hand having a major road emergency, such as the same flat tire in the middle of the night in a blizzard with no cell phone service, well, that’s the sort of emergency we want to be prepared for. Even if you’re not oriented with the mechanics of your vehicle, there are certain things that you can do to help yourself and improve the conditions, during a road emergency.
When prepping for a road emergency, you must have a towing service within your insurance plan, and their contact number on speed dial.Then you want to think of two emergency kits; a car kit and a personal kit, one kit completes the other and work alongside. One thing to consider is the quality of your tools and items of your kit.
Tip: One of the most important items to have in your car is a cell phone charger !!!
Your Road Emergency Car Kit should include:
• A tarp or a nylon sheet
• Work Gloves
• Jumper cables
• Fire extinguisher
• Flash light with extra batteries
• Duct Tape-Zip Ties
• Multipurpose tool, such as a Leatherman ( your multitool must include pliers )
• Paper towels ( or a roll of paper )
• Windshield washer fluid
• Tire pressure gauge
• 3 road flares or reflective warning cones or triangles
• 2-3 large bottles of water
• Towing rope
• Small shovel
• Ice scraper
• Ice chains or wheel shocks
• Spare tire (filled), jack and lug wrench
Your Personal Kit should include:
• Walking shoes
• A pair of socks
• Drinking water
• Flashlight with extra batteries
• Non-perishable foods such as snack bars, nuts, candys etc.
• Warm gloves
• Coat-Rain Gear
• First aid kit
Tip: Remember to personalize your road emergency kit with specific items that you may need, like prescription drugs, a pair of glasses, a can of cola, a deck of cards or a game etc. Items in general that will add in your comfort.
When you will compose your kit, try to picture where you might be stranded and isolated from the rest. Remember,(depending the road emergency) you will have to face loss of warmth, electricity, or even additional conveniences that we take for granted in our daily life. Just try to imagine, what would you like to carry in your car if you were in such a situation? What are the situations you might face in the future? The smallest roadside problem might be tough. Even in your every day commute you could get in a situation where your car will be a safe place or the tool that will get you out of there. Make a list of the possible problems or hazards you might be involved and customize your kit accordingly. Here is a Car Safety & Travel Kit for roadside emergencies
where you can add your own items.
In my car I don’t have enough space for a dedicated personal kit and car kit in two separate bags. So i keep my personal kit in a duffel bag and the car kit in the several cabinets of my car. In the future I’d like to replace the duffel bag with a backpack.
I usually try to save space and money by not having dedicated tools. On the other hand for the heavy duty tasks I’d prefer a specific quality tool like a shovel. As a rule of thumb try to get quality stuff because they tend to last longer and perform better. If you want, you can combine two approaches for building a car emergency kit.
Here are some of my multi-functional tools that I have included in my road emergency car kit: Rolson 43001 Multi Function Emergency Light , Victorinox Swiss Tool CS (Corkscrew) , Big Wipes Industrial Plus 80 – Red Top.
Photo by Mats Skölving www.flickr.com