Driving Smart: What goes in your car's emergency kit?

Disaster can strike at any time and it's important to stay prepared for the worst by keeping an emergency kit in your car. Cars.com's Matt Schmitz highlights what should be in it.

Be prepared.

It’s the Boy Scout Motto — but it oughtta be the Motorist Motto, too.

According to AAA, you’re very likely to be one of the one in three drivers who face a breakdown or similar situation each year. And disasters come on all sorts of days, not just clear, blue 70-degree day with lots of people around.

If you find yourself stranded on that proverbial ‘dark and stormy night,’ you’ll thank your lucky stars you assembled this emergency-preparedness kit.

Here’s what should be in it:

  • A wheel wrench and car jack to change the tire if your car came with a spare
  • Battery jumper cables
  • A tool kit or multipurpose tool
  • A flashlight, along with backup batteries
  • Reflective triangles so oncoming cars can see you
  • A compass
  • A fully stocked first-aid kit
  • A blanket
  • Nonperishable food such as unsalted nuts and dried fruits
  • A car charger for your phone
  • A fire extinguisher
  • Duct tape because, of course
  • A rain poncho
  • Cold-weather tools including a snow brush, a small shovel, windshield fluid, warm clothing and cat litter to help with tire traction
  • And emergency contact numbers for family, roadside services and your insurance provider.

If an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, keeping a well-stocked emergency kit in your car … can save you a ton of stress.



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