Packing a Proper Emergency Kit

Driving is an unpredictable activity at best, and potentially dangerous at worst. That’s why it’s up to you to plan for the unexpected and to make sure you have a good solid emergency kit stored away. Take the time to track down the must-have items listed below and, before you know it, you’ll be prepared for most situations you may encounter while out on the road. Sure, you’ll have to take the time to learn how to use all these different items but, after you do, you’ll have no trouble improvising for different situations you may find yourself in.

Must-Have Items

  • Road flares
  • Flashlights
  • Additional batteries
  • Fuses
  • Oil
  • Antifreeze
  • Jumper cables
  • A tire inflator
  • A tire plug
  • Duct tape
  • A spray bottle with washer fluid
  • A multi-tool with pliers and screwdriver
  • Rags and a funnel
  • Triangle reflectors
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Blanket
  • Water
  • Non-perishable foods like granola bars
  • First-aid kit

Useful Extras

If you live in a cold climate, it’s a good idea to keep a fold-out snow shovel so you can dig yourself out of a bank if necessary. It’s also a good idea to keep a cheap cell phone in your vehicle in case you need to make a phone call, and your other phone doesn’t have signal, the battery dies or you forget to bring it along for the ride. A larger set of tools including sockets and a wrench, a fuel transfer pump and some additional pliers are also helpful to bring along.

Securing the Kit Effectively

With your valuable tools assembled, it’s time to pack them into a container so they stay out of the way until you need them. Pick a box, a plastic container or another item that’s going to keep those objects securely in place. Lock them all in and store them away so that you’re ready if need be.

Practice Makes Perfect

Now that you have all your emergency supplies, you need to practice through pretend situations so you know how to use them properly when an actual emergency strikes. Make sure that you test out every piece of equipment that you have so that you can use them when you need them. Flares, for instance, are very helpful to keep you visible when working on the road at night, but they are no good if you don’t know how to activate them. Purchase an extra and fire it up to get a good feel for how they work.

Read tutorials on how to use jumper cables, try out those flashlights and make sure they have extra batteries and read through your first aid kit to make sure you have all the items that you need in the event of injury.

As long as you take your time and construct your safety kit carefully and thoroughly, you'll be ready for most situations that you encounter. Even if you aren’t capable of fixing your vehicle yourself, you should be able to safely wait until you can get the help that you need.