Build Your Own Emergency Kit
Building an emergency kit is an important step in vehicle safety. It’s one of those “I’d rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it” kind of things. So the experts at Liberty Mazda got together and created this list of items you should include in your emergency kit. For clarity, we’ve divided the list up into “Need” and “Want,” and you can modify it as necessary for your driving habits and vehicle space.
⃞ Jumper cables – these allow you to “jump” your battery from another vehicle’s battery. Better to spend a little more on these, especially if you have a larger engine. When choosing jumper cables, the lower the gauge, the more they can handle. Look for 4-gauge or 6-gauge wires and at least 10 ft. long.
⃞ First Aid Kit – this assortment of medical supplies will allow you to take care of minor scrapes, bruises, bug bites, burns, etc.
⃞ Road flares/glowsticks/reflective triangles – if you break down at night, it’s vital to signal to other drivers that you’re stopped.
⃞ Blanket – While a blanket is best for picnics and laying out on the grass, a space blanket is often warmer and takes up less space. They are, however, more difficult to use repeatedly.
⃞ Water – always keep a bottle of water in your trunk. Staying hydrated is vital.
⃞ Fix-A-Flat – a $15 can of tire inflator can save you from a $200 towing fee. Even if you have roadside assistance, it’s faster if you can get back on the road yourself.
⃞ Basic Tool Kit – most vehicles come equipped with the tools you need to change a tire (tire iron and jack) but keeping pliers, a screwdriver, and an adjustable wrench can make an unexpected emergency into a short detour.
⃞ Duct tape – it’s just good stuff to have around.
⃞ Flashlight – a small flashlight can be a lifesaver at nighttime. Many people are skipping the flashlight in favor of their phone flashlight, but in our opinion, it’s better to save your phone’s battery for calls and GPS. Just don’t forget to pack extra batteries, too.
⃞ Non-perishable food – it’s always handy to have a few granola bars or energy gel pouches stashed away. Make sure to eat them before they expire, though.
⃞ Extra vehicle fluids – keeping a quart of oil, a gallon of gasoline, or a bottle of windshield washer fluid can keep you on the road, but they often take up a fair amount of space. We recommend keeping fluids upright so they don’t roll around and spill.
⃞ Pen and paper – playing tic-tac-toe can help pass the time while you’re waiting for a tow truck. It can also be helpful to take down insurance information if you’re involved in a collision.
⃞ Ice scraper – keeping an ice scraper in your vehicle may not be as important, depending on the season and your location, but snow and ice can occur year-round in some areas. It beats having to scrape off your windshield with a credit card.
⃞ Rag – working on vehicles can be messy. Keeping a rag in the trunk can keep the dirt and grease from marking up the interior of your vehicle.
⃞ Gloves, scarf, etc. – just like the ice scraper, this one depends on season and climate.
⃞ Tow strap/chain – sometimes, a friendly stranger stops to help out before the towing service (or you’re in a cell phone dead zone and can’t call at all).
You can even purchase pre-made vehicle emergency kits, but only you can determine exactly what you need to bring with you. If you have any questions, the friendly staff at Liberty Mazda can help you brainstorm the perfect emergency kit for you. Give us a call today.