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What Do I Need To Put In My Car Emergency Kit?

If you've purchased or are shopping around for a new vehicle, you should already know a few of the things you need in tandem with that new purchase. One of them is the emergency kit that should go in the trunk or glove box of each car you own. This can include different items for different areas, so it's important to check with your insurance company.

Unfortunately, there are many drivers who overlook this accessory, either because they consider it unnecessary or they simply forget to put one together or pick up a ready made kit at a local department store. Roadside kits are not only handy, they might potentially double as a survival kit should you one day find yourself stranded on a low-traffic roadway miles away from the nearest convenience store, residence or gas station. For those looking to put a kit together, there a few things you should include.

1. First Aid Kit

First aid kits are great to have around at home as well as in the car for minor cuts, scrapes or burns. Included in the kit should be the standard items like bandages, gauze, antibacterial ointment and alcohol for sterilization. Even if you only use it after you've cut yourself changing a tire, you'll be happy for the immediate sterile treatment of your injuries.

2. Fire Extinguisher

A fire extinguisher is another item you should have within reach both at home and in the car. Given the highly flammable property of gasoline, a small fire can quickly turn into a flaming vehicle.

3. Jumper Cables

A stalled vehicle or dead battery is a common occurrence, so jumper cables are a necessity to have stored in your trunk should you ever need to jump-start your vehicle or assist another motorist in jump-starting theirs. Drivers should also consider purchasing a portable battery booster if they live in or travel through isolated regions where finding another motorist in a time of need is less likely.

4. Tools for Changing Flats or Repairing Tires

Aside from a dead battery, a flat tire is the second most common hiccup drivers face on the road. Carrying a spare tire in addition to a wrench and jack would be ideal, but not all drivers have the luxury of space for all three, so be sure to at least carry the wrench and jack should the issue be repairable. Additionally, drivers should carry a tire sealant for minor punctures to hold them over until the next gas station.

5. Flash Light, Flare, Thermal Blanket and Provisions

These items are standard emergency items that are always great to have for added security. Be sure to have bottled water and nonperishable food items such as saltines always in stock or quickly replaced if they're used.

Of course the list may be longer or differ depending on where you live, how far you intend to travel or the climate. For more information, this extensive list from Consumer Reports is a great resource.

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