While long drives and bad weather typically necessitate having extra supplies in your vehicle, keeping a basic kit in your car at all times is a smart step. An emergency car kit helps to protect you and your family against unexpected weather events, a car accident, or a flat tire that leaves you stranded in a remote area. Kits can be purchased online or you can build them yourself.

What an Emergency Car Kit Should Include

A roadside assistance kit should be tailored to your local seasons and include family essentials. Emergency items should include what you, your children or pets would need if you end up stranded with your vehicle (e.g., diapers, non-perishable snacks, pet food, a travel water bowl, etc.)

As a general guide, a basic car kit can include:

  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Jumper cables
  • Flares or reflective triangles
  • Car cell phone charger
  • Blanket
  • Tarp
  • Map
  • Duct tape
  • Multipurpose tool
  • Cat litter or sand for tire traction
  • Drinking water and non-perishable food

If you buy pre-packaged car emergency kits, be sure to add any additional items necessary to suit you and your family. Check kits every year to restock and replace expired items.

Prep Your Car

In addition to keeping an emergency kit inside each vehicle, be sure to properly maintain your cars and have scheduled maintenance completed prior to long trips. A professional mechanic should regularly check to ensure the battery and ignition systems, brakes, exhaust system, heater and defrosters, lights and flashing hazards, thermostat, windshield wipers, tires, and more are fully functioning.

As a day-to-day car safety tip, consider keeping your gas tank full or at least half full, in case of an evacuation or power outage. A full tank of gas can also keep the fuel line from freezing. Avoid flooded areas, damaged roads or fallen power lines when driving. When weather is bad or road conditions uncertain, consider that it may be better to stay safe at home and off the roads.

Contact a Cole Harrison agent today to make sure you have the right auto insurance policy to protect you and your family on the road.

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