Packing a Car Emergency Kit
Life is full of surprises and many of them can leave you stranded. Packing a car emergency kit can keep you and your family safe if you become stranded. Important items to pack include:
First Aid Kit
One of the most essential parts of a car emergency kit is a small first aid kit that contains gauze, bandages, and other basic supplies, in case you or a loved one suffers a minor injury while you are away from home.
Medication, Food, and Water
If you or anyone in your family uses prescription medication, carry several days’ worth of medicine and extra water in case you become stranded. It is also a good idea to pack nonperishable snacks, such as trail mix, nuts, and energy bars.
Tools for Basic Repairs
Many Georgia drivers become stranded when there is a problem with their vehicle. Having a AAA membership or other roadside assistance is the best option, but there are also a number of issues that you can easily address without waiting on a technician. When you are prepared, a dead battery or a flat tire will not cause much of a delay. In order to be prepared to make basic repairs, you should carry:
- A flashlight and batteries, or a headlamp that allows for hands-free repairs
- Jumper cables
- Spare tire, and the equipment to change it
- An adjustable wrench
- Supplies such as paper towels and duct tape
If you feel confident performing some basic maintenance and repairs on your own, you can also pack other items in your roadside kit that will allow you to get your vehicle running again. This includes:
- Oil and a funnel
- Extra fuses
- Windshield washer fluid
- Brake fluid
Be sure to follow these safety tips if you break down, if you are stranded.
You should never drive without certain safety items because they play a major role in keeping you safe. These include:
- Your cell phone, which you can use to summon roadside assistance or call for help after an accident. It is a good idea to include a charger in your car emergency kit, as well.
- Roadside flares or reflective triangles: If you have to stop on the side of the road, use your flashers to alert other drivers that you have stopped. But if they will not work or you are in an area where other drivers may not have the visibility to spot you in time, roadside flares or reflective triangles can help keep you safe.
Most areas in Georgia do not get regular snow, and instead enjoy a fairly temperate climate. However, when we do get winter weather it can shut down highways and make rural roads impassable. For this reason, it is important to be prepared for snow and ice. During the winter months, your car emergency kit should contain:
- Blankets or sleeping bags
- Dry socks
- Rain poncho
- Warm gloves and hats
- Bag of kitty litter or sand for helping with traction on ice
Other Miscellaneous Items
Depending on your family, you may need to add other items in your roadside kit. This could include blankets, toys, and books for children, or formula and diapers for babies. If you travel with your pets frequently, do not forget to pack extra water and food for your furry family members.