Emergencies happen. Whether you’re driving to work or heading out on a road trip, breakdowns and car wrecks can happen at any time. Having a fully stocked car emergency kit prepared and in your car can take a lot of the stress out of the situation.
Rock City Roadside wants to share with you our favorite car emergency kit items, tips, and tricks. We want to help make sure your kit is equipped to cover your situation, so you can get back on the road.
Types of Car Emergencies
It is also important to prepare yourself for more than just one kind of car emergency. The tools and resources needed for a flat tire are much different than those needed for a car wreck or being stranded due to weather.
Every car emergency kit should have the basics for the top three types of emergency. Below, we’ll outline some of the best tools for mechanical emergencies, collision emergencies, and personal medical emergencies, along with their reason for inclusion.
Mechanical Emergency Kit
- Reflective Vest: No matter the time, day or night, fluorescent and reflective orange or yellow will be significantly more visible than your normal clothes.
- Reflective triangles or cones: Beyond making yourself visible, you should put cones or triangles every 150 feet behind your car so that traffic has a chance to slow down and move around you safely. You should keep at least 3 in your car for this purpose.
- Gloves: A set of good cut and heat resistant gloves will be your go-to when working on cars for even the smallest of repairs. Engines have a lot of sharp bits and get really hot to the touch from normal operation.
- Jumper Box or Cables: Dead batteries happen, sometimes they just need a jump. A set of jumper cables is great, so long as another car is available to draw power from. A jump box may be a better option for the lone commuter.
- Tire Iron, Jack, and a Spare Tire: Most newer model cars come with a compact scissor jack and a tire iron. When you prepare your car emergency kit, make sure you know where these are stored, and how to get to them.
Also, ensure that your car has a spare tire. These are sometimes mounted under the car, or in the trunk. When you perform routine maintenance on your car, make sure to check the air pressure on your spare tire. It does you no good if your spare is flat too.
- Paper Towels, Funnel, and Spare Fluids: When you need to check your fluids, a good sturdy paper towel is your best option. Once you’ve checked fluid levels, a funnel will help you safely fill the low fluids. Oil, transmission fluid, and coolant are popular fluids to check and keep on hand.
- Duct Tape and Zip Ties: Sometimes, you can’t complete the repairs on the roadside, and duct tape or zip ties will temporarily help to get you to a safe place to do them.
Car wrecks happen, often without warning. Having some things prepared in advance allows the stress levels to be reduced. From a fender bender to a severe wreck, these tools will help you work through them:
- Copy of Insurance information: This may seem obvious, but by having an additional copy to the one you normally carry is a smart idea. You can then just hand it over to any parties involved, rather than shakily try to write it all down for them.
- Tow truck contact information: Your insurance may call a tow truck for you if damages are severe enough, but you may be able to get a faster response by calling on your own tow truck.
- Reflective Triangles: These may already be in your kit, but they’ll help keep you and the other involved drivers safe while you exchange information.
- ResQMe Tool: This is an easy piece to keep on your keychain in case of a severe wreck. Often in cases of major collisions, your seatbelt and door may jam. In this situation, you may need to cut yourself free and break the window to get out to safety. This tool does the trick.
This category of emergency can include medical emergencies and weather-related personal safety emergencies.
- List of medical conditions, medications, etc: In the case that paramedics need this information, it’s important to have them available for all the primary users of the car.
- First Aid Kit: The ones you buy at the store have a lot of the basics, but it’s suggested that you include medications and such that are specific to your needs.
For example, some people include a three-day pill organizer for each primary passenger with their daily meds in case you are stranded for whatever reason. This is especially important for people who need to take daily maintenance medications, such as insulin or blood pressure medications.
- Blanket: This doesn’t need to be a heavy comforter, just an extra layer. In cold weather, this spare layer can be the difference between staying warm and getting hypothermia. In a small maintenance emergency, this blanket can also save you from the elements while you change a tire, or hook up a tow strap.
- Food and Water: Keep high energy non-perishable food items in your car for breakdowns and emergencies. Nuts, protein bars, and MREs are great options for long term storage. A jug of clean water is also essential to keeping you hydrated and functioning.
Rock City Roadside Towing Services
If any of these basic car emergencies feel beyond your skill set, give us a call. Rock City Roadside provides more than just towing services. From lockouts and flat tire changes to collision recovery, we’ve got you covered.