It’s always better to have something and not need it, rather than need it and not have it…especially during an accident. No matter the time of the year having a safety kit is beneficial. You might assume that there are more accidents in the winter months, due to the less than favorable weather for many automobiles, but in all actuality more accidents take place in the summer months!
Regardless of the time of year it is important to be prepared for whatever might happen. In doing so, you should ensure that each of your vehicles is packed with a safety kit.
Safety kits are available for sale from a variety of retailers, but you can also build one yourself to ensure that it contains everything that you may need in case of an emergency.
Here are 25 beneficial items to include in your car safety kit:
- First-aid kit – Some items you might want to include are; toilet paper, hand sanitizer, band-aids, gauze, antibiotic ointment, aloe, cortisone cream, sun screen, bug spray, antihistamine, pain killers, medical tape, and any family medical necessities.
- Tire gauge – If you get the feeling that your tires are going soft you should always check with a gauge first before adding more air and over inflating them. Over-inflating your tires can cause them to wear unevenly and possibly be damaged more easily.
- Gloves – Gloves are a great thing to have in your car to protect your hands from the elements warm or cold.
- Flashlight – The last thing you’ll want is to be stranded on the side of the road with a disabled vehicle at nighttime without any light source. A flashlight is a necessity, and having a headlamp (which frees up your hands) might even be better! You’ll also want to make sure that you have an extra set on batteries on hand just in case!
- Multi-purpose tool – A multipurpose tool is an incredibly helpful gadget to have in your vehicle because of its many uses! Most multipurpose tools include a knife/saw, screw driver, scissors, a bottle opener, and more!
- Rain poncho – Rain, snow or sleet, a poncho will make the difference in getting stuck in the cold and being soaking wet vs. moderately cold and dry.
- Hand warmers – Handwarmers are inexpensive and extremely helpful in keeping extremities warm when the weather has cooled off.
- Tire sealant – You never know how far you might be from a repair shop. If your tire isn’t completely blown out you can keep a can of tire sealant in your emergency kit for a quick and easy fix to something that could be a big problem.
- Tow strap or rope – Rope and tow straps are basic survival tools that every vehicle should have in case of emergency. There are countless uses for these kinds of tools.
- Duct tape – The universal “save all”. Honestly, is there anything that duct tape can’t do? Why not keep it in your safety kit? Of course, for safety purposes you’ll only want to use this as a TEMPORARY fix.
- Drinking water – if you are stranded in the heat, or cold, staying hydrated is a MUST. Include a couple bottles, just in case.
- Blanket – Fireproof, waterproof, fleece… there are so many uses for blankets. One of the first things emergency responders will do when reaching victims is wrapping them in blankets! It’s also a great item to have in your vehicle if you want to have an impromptu picnic!
- Shovel/snow brush – We’re in New York – these two items are essentially no brainers, right? Cleaning snow off your vehicle is safer for both you and the other drivers on the road, too. Having a small shovel in your vehicle can be extremely helpful for you or another vehicle that is stuck!
- Tarp – A small tarp is great thing to always keep in your vehicle! In the event of an emergency it can even provide shelter from the elements. You can also consider using it as a barrier to protect the interior of the vehicle if you need to pick up something and transport it.
- Wipes – In a sticky situation, wipes are great to have on hand. Kids or not, everyone can benefit from having these in their emergency kit!
- Matches, fire starter, lighter – You never know what might happen when traveling even short distances having some sort of fire starting tool is always a great idea!
- Whistle – Whistles are great for both warding off wildlife (bears, coyotes and other small predators), and alerting others of your location if you end up stranded. They’re also small in size so you won’t have to worry about them taking up much space in your emergency kit!
- Coins – If your phone dies, having coins to make a call at a public telephone is a great idea! They’re also good to have on hand if you need to pay tolls, or for parking.
- Pepper spray/bear spray – Unfortunately, the people that may pullover to help you may not always have the best intentions. Have pepper spray on hand as a precautionary measure. You might also want to consider including a can of bear spray in the event that you are stranded.
- Disposable camera – In the event of an accident having a disposable camera on hand to quickly take photos of other involved parties, other vehicles, the area, and damage to your vehicle can be helpful. Of course, you can also do the same with your cellphone if it has camera capabilities. In the event that your phone is low on battery, a disposable camera can be extremely helpful when filing a claim!
- Gas can – Such a helpful tool to always have in your vehicle. Being stranded without gas is the worst. It is much easier to walk and carry a small gas can versus pushing your entire vehicle to the closest gas station. It can also be a helpful tool to have on hand to help others!
- Jumper cables – Battery trouble is typically resolved with one simple jump-start, but do you have these cables on hand. (Also see, How to Safely Jump-Start Your Vehicle).
- Emergency flares – Flares are a standard warning sign to alert others that something is wrong. Having this on hand will help to protect you and your disabled vehicle in the event that your vehicle is no longer operable.
- Car phone charger – It’s always a good idea to have at the very least one charger for your cellphone in your car. Your phone should always have a full charge when traveling as it will be your primary source of communication if something should go wrong.
- Non-perishable snacks – There are so many simple and healthy snacks that you should consider keeping in your kit. Things like granola bars, dried fruit, jerky, pudding, and cereal.
Of course, these are all just ideas. None of them are essential, and some of them you might see no use for whatsoever, but we would definitely recommend being prepared for whatever you think could happen! Just remember, it’s always better to prepare for the worst and not need what you have as opposed to needing it and not having it. For more preparedness tips check back to our blog!