What to Pack in Your Vehicle Emergency Kit & Why

be prepared with the proper tools right in your own vehicleVery rarely does an emergency ever give us a heads up.  That’s why an “emergency” is, well, an emergency. When it comes to being prepared for an emergency of any kind, equipping your car with a well-stocked and properly planned out emergency kit will be crucial. Looking for advice on what to pack?  Here’s advice that will give you the power to create the right emergency kit.

Create a great car emergency kit

Be prepared for a tire change or flat battery

One of the biggest stranding details is a flat tire or a battery that just doesn’t hold a charge enough to start up.  Be prepared for both with a spare tire (and all of the equipment needed to change it), as well as jumper cables to get a boost from someone who comes by.  Also, consider jumper cables that are self-generating with a battery back-up in case it’s a low traffic area.  Silly statement, but be sure your tire isn’t flat too!

Have food and water readily available

Bottled water and non-perishable food are always a good idea to have close by, or rather in your vehicle.  The best form is a case of water bottles and a box of protein bars, but you can do it however you think is best. Further, it gets pretty hot and humid here in Texas, so you may want to consider water that isn’t stored in plastic and well, not chocolate protein bars or something that will melt or get gooey. Nuts might be a great option and maybe boxed juice?  Whether you get stranded somewhere and need to wait for help to come, or you just get hungry or thirsty, having food and water close by can be a lifesaver. Depending upon your needs and how you typically travel may help determine what kind of food and drink you need to have.

Have a poncho, a high visible vest and flares

The weather and light aren’t always in your favor.  Make sure you’re prepared for the elements with a poncho (with a hood because you know Texas rain can be torrential downpour!), a high visibility vest if you are going to be exiting the car, and flares to make sure that you can keep your vehicle visible on the side of the road in the dark. Maybe even a few orange cones or those orange triangle reflective signs too, depending upon the space you have available.

Don’t forget to restock your first aid kit

A fully equipped first aid kit is a must, and it’s also important to make sure that you take note and restock it when needed.  If they aren’t included in your kit, make sure you have latex/disposable gloves to keep everything sanitary. It’s a good idea to check these kits often, especially if you use it often for that one thing you need but also for expiration dates, believe it or not.

The essentials: a flashlight, toilet paper and a pen

You can never go wrong with a flashlight (darkness happens each day), toilet paper (when you gotta go, you gotta go) and a pen (make sure it works).  Also consider other essentials such as a cell phone charger and/or spare phone for emergency calls, as well as a battery backup for your cell phone if you can, batteries for your flashlight and a pad of paper to take notes should you need it.

Most importantly, make sure you have emergency supplies for anyone that uses your car.  Medications for kids, emergency food for pets, blankets for the elderly, etc.  When it comes to being stranded in your car, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

No one wants to find out that they’re stuck on the roadside, but knowing that you’ve got a fully stocked (and re-stocked, as needed) emergency kit can take it from a stress level 10 to a stress level 7.  In a scary or intense situation, it can make all of the difference in the world.  So, make sure you’re prepared!

Be sure to check your insurance policy as many auto insurance policies have roadside assistance and limited towing. If you aren’t sure, check your policy or contact your insurance agent. If you insure with Farmers, you likely have it and Paula Smith Insurance would be happy to have a look for you. For that matter, we would be happy to discuss any and all of your insurance needs. So, contact us at (281) 488-8880 with any questions or a free quote on your home, auto, motorcycle or any of your insurance needs.

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