Breaking down on a deserted road where help could be hours or even days away can be a scary experience to those who are unprepared. There are pre-made emergency kits out there for sale ranging from $30 and up but I find that it is better to create your own personal kit to make sure you have everything you need. Here is a list of essential items that should always be in your vehicle:
Basic tools: Just a basic tool set will be enough to at least fix a minor problem until you can find a mechanic. The set should include Philips and flathead screwdrivers and a ratchet and socket set. It’s a good idea to get a socket set that includes both metric and standard measurements.
Additional tools: Most cars these days come with a jack, lug nut wrench, and a spare tire, but if for some reason any of those are missing you should replace them.
Jumper cables: Having jumper cables is a must but sometimes it may take a long time for a passing motorist to help give you a jump. An alternative is to have a portable charge box that will eliminate the need for another car. These boxes can be charged at home using regular outlets.
First aid kit: A standard first aid kit that you can buy at any store will be fine. In addition to band-aids and aspirin, make sure the kit comes with large non adhesive bandages for large cuts, gauze, and anti bacterial ointment.
Flashlight and batteries: Keep a large flashlight that uses D batteries as they will last longer than lights that use the smaller A batteries. A large heavy flashlight like a Maglite can also be used as a weapon if you are scared of being attacked while stranded.
Extra clothing and blankets: Warm and waterproof clothing should always be kept just in case you need to do repairs in the cold or rainy weather. If help can’t make it to you until the next day, a nice wool or cotton blanket will keep you warm during those cold nights.
Lighter: Always good to have something that can start a fire; just don’t burn anything in your vehicle.
Food and water: Keep nonperishable foods like granola or protein bars just in case help won’t be there for a few days. A box or two of your favorite flavors should be enough. How much water you want in your car depends on how much space you have.
Having these items in your car will greatly increase your chances of getting out of a roadside breakdown safely. Have you experienced a car breakdown that put you in a dangerous situation in the past?