Travel emergencies can happen at any time.  Clearly there are steps we can all take to reduce the likelihood of a travel emergency, which will be covered in a future post.  However this post contains advice about how to plan in advance so you are prepared when an emergency inevitably strikes (despite having taken your best preventative measures).

Below is a pretty inclusive list of items you might need in the event of an emergency, from mechanical failures, medical emergencies, or being stuck in mud or the heavy inclement of winter.  Find a box, Rubbermaid container, trunk organizer or backpack to store items in the trunk of your car so you are prepared in the event of a roadside emergency.:

  • Battery Tester—in the event of a breakdown, a battery tester will let you know if your battery has lost its charge or if you have another issue
  • Booster Cables —if another vehicle can give you a jolt, jumper cables are great.
  • Flashlight with batteries—for changing a tire roadside or simply trying to flag down a vehicle for help.
  • Back up phone battery—if you’re in a remote area for any length of time, you’ll want to have phone access if possible
  • First aid kit—useful after minor collisions, or for treatment for any minor medical situation
  • Road flares and/or reflective safety triangle signs—helps warn other drivers and creates a buffer between your car and traffic
  • Emergency weather radio—keep up with weather updates without draining your battery in the process
  • Ice scraper or folding shovel if you’re travelling in winter
  • Heavy duty Tow strap or rope—if stuck in the heavy inclement of weather, a fellow motorist may be able to help you out
  • Rain poncho—helpful if you need to change a tire or walk a short distance in the rain seeking help
  • Canned flat tire fixer—even if you can change a tire, if you are on an unlit or unsafe stretch of road, it may be best to inflate your tire and drive to a better location to replace the tire.
  • Matches (ideally waterproof matches)
  • Swiss army knife or Leatherman multi-tool
  • Non-perishable food
  • Blanket
  • Electrical or Duct tape
  • Baby or hand wipes
  • Your manufacturer’s vehicle manual—this can be left in your glovebox for easy reference

Build a Roadside Emergency Kit
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