Roadside Emergency: Never Leave Without a Roadside Emergency Kit

emergency kit
Scott was a responsible teenage driver, never speeding or abusive of his driving priveleges. But typical of a teenager, he hadn’t thought far enough ahead. He had never required roadside assistance yet and was convinced his well maintained Camaro would never let him down.

Now, as he stared down the forlorn and empty highway with not even a glimmer of city lights to be seen, he wished he had taken his mother’s advice to heart and prepared a roadside emergency kit. Not only should your teen’s cars be equipped with a roadside emergency kit, but so should every vehicle use by the family.

Here are some guidelines in putting such an emergency kit together.

  • STEP 1: Use a cardboard or plastic box to keep everything in so it doesn’t roll around in the trunk and you can easily find what you need.
  • STEP 2: Buy or cull together a first aid kit (see related eHow).
  • STEP 3: Include a AAA or roadside emergency card.
  • STEP 4: Throw in all the necessary equipment to change a tire: working jack, spare tire (with air in it!), lug nut wrench or tire iron, pipe for leverage. Most of this should already be stored in its designated place in the car’s trunk or hatchback.
  • STEP 5: Have a flashlight with fresh batteries in there.
  • STEP 6: Include triangle reflectors and flares.
  • STEP 7: Include rags and a funnel.
  • STEP 8: Purchase all the necessary fluids: 2 qts. of oil (10W-40), a gallon of water and antifreeze, brake fluid, power-steering fluid (if applicable), and automatic transmission fluid (if applicable).
  • STEP 9: Add flat and Phillips-head screwdrivers, pliers and an adjustable wrench (only to be used in an emergency – adjustable wrenches can easily round the head of bolts).
  • STEP 10: Buy jumper cables (at least eight feet long).
  • STEP 11: Toss in work gloves or latex gloves, duct tape (of course), a blanket, spare fuses and a can of Fix-a-Flat.

Tips & Warnings

  • Some optional items to consider: a Swiss Army knife, a good book, a credit card, a pillow, a bathing suit, tasty snacks, a beach chair and, to make your mom happy, a pair of clean underwear.
  • If you live in an area with freezing temperatures, keep a collapsible shovel in the car in case you need to dig your car out of ice or snow.


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