Is Your Roadside Emergency Kit Ready If You Need It?

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When was the last time you checked your emergency supplies in your car?  At least twice a year, as the seasons change, it’s a good idea to check your supplies and emergency preparedness kit in your car.
Glove Box:  Not all emergency equipment should be behind the backseat or in the trunk. Here are three essential items to stow within the driver’s reach:
  • Mobile phone
  • Phone charger
  • Auto-safety hammer (some have an emergency beacon and belt-cutting tool, too)
In Your Trunk: Use a sturdy canvas bag with handles or a plastic bin to store your emergency preparedness kit, and secure it so it doesn’t roll or bounce around when the car is moving. Be sure to include the following:
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Cloth or roll of paper towels
  • Jumper cables
  • Blankets
  • Flares or warning triangles
  • Drinking water
  • Nonperishable snacks, such as energy or granola bars
  • Extra clothes and shoes
  • First-aid kit
  • Basic tool kit that includes, at minimum, flat-head and Phillips screwdrivers, pliers, and adjustable wrench
Winter Add-ons: If you live in a snowy climate like me, you’ve probably already faced many snow storms this year and will want to add in these items as well.  (And for more tips on winter driving safety, check out theNational Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s recommendations.)
  • Window washer solvent
  • Ice scraper
  • Bag of sand, salt, or cat litter, or traction mats
  • Snow shovel
  • Snow brush
  • Gloves, hats, and additional blanket