Whether it’s summer or winter, spring or fall – you should always have certain items available in your vehicle’s roadside emergency kit. Dead batteries, flat tires, and overheated engines can occur at any time. While most people have a cell phone in the vehicle and ready access to a support network to get help, it is always best to be prepared for any eventuality. A well-stocked emergency kit will help you get back on the road safely and quickly.
Including jumper cables in your car’s emergency kit may seem like a no-brainer, and it should be. However, the cables that you choose are important — this is not the time to go cheap! While you don’t need to spend hundreds, it is good to invest in a decent pair of jumper cables to keep in your car just in case.
Nothing is more important than a flashlight; and not just any little tiny flashlight, either. No, you need an industrial, heavy-duty serious flashlight – one that could also be used to bop an attacker over the head if they come at you while you’re stopped. An LED flashlight will be plenty bright, never needs to have the bulb changed, and will last practically forever. Keep extra batteries close at hand, and you’ll never be left in the dark.
Tire Changing Kit
Not only do you need a spare tire, but you also need a jack and a tire iron. While most vehicles come with these important parts, if you are buying a used vehicle it’s good to check and replace any missing pieces as soon as possible. Having a flat tire is the most likely problem you’ll encounter on the road, and one of the simplest fixes.
This may be the most-forgotten part of a vehicle emergency kit, and one that should be near the top of your list of “must haves” to keep you safe. There are different types of fire extinguishers, so do your homework!
Extra food, water and blankets are very important to have in your vehicle, especially if you’re in an area where inclement weather is a given. While you can survive several days without food, water, and blankets, having these essentials on hand can make the difference in the event of an emergency.
All of these options are great to keep in your roadside emergency kit, but the final product may be the most important: a rescue tool. These handy items are meant to not only break glass but also cut through seat belts. In the event of an accident, they can and do save lives.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as 5 Essential Things to Know About Roadside Emergency Kits and was authored by Valerie Johnston.