While none of us likes to think of our car or truck breaking down on the road, no vehicle is immune to such a scenario. Being prepared for such an eventuality can help you stay safe, as well as get you back on the road more quickly. Preparing yourself for a possible roadside emergency doesn't have to be expensive or exhausting. You just need to stow a few well-chosen items.
What to pack in your car emergency kit
1. Hand-cranking or solar cell phone charger. Your cell phone battery can lose its charge quickly if you're out of range of a WiFi signal or cell phone tower. However, the last thing you want is to be unable to communicate with the rest of the world while you are stranded. Plan for this by packing a hand-cranked cell phone charger. If you live in a sunny area, you might also pack a solar charger, but keep in mind that it won't likely be charged when you first pull it out of the trunk.
2. Stow away some emergency repair tools. The British Columbia division of the Canadian Automobile Association advises packing booster cables, a shovel, road flares, an air compressor and a tow rope in your trunk.
3. Pack some food, water and blankets. More than just keeping you comfortable, having water and something to keep you warm on a chilly night while you wait for help can actually save your life. Dried fruit, protein bars and nuts make good, non-perishable snacks.
4. Emergency numbers. Even if your phone is working, you may not be able to access the Internet to find the phone numbers of your auto club or car insurance company. Avoid this frustration by keeping these relevant numbers in your glove box.
5. A first aid kit. A basic first aid kit can also be invaluable in the event of a minor accident while you wait for help. The American Red Cross website offers some excellent suggestions on what to include in your kit. They also advise that you update your kit periodically to make sure that none of the items has expired.
Having your car break down is never fun. However, you can mitigate the danger and aggravation while you're waiting for a tow by packing a manual cell phone charger, stowing away a few snacks and water, creating a first aid kit and keeping it current, and making sure to have emergency numbers on hand. If you find yourself broken down and in need of a tow, contact a company like Kingsway Towing Group.