There’s some kind of immutable law that says not only that if something can go wrong it probably will, but also that it’ll happen at the worst possible time in the least convenient location. In a car for instance, you never run out of fuel outside a gas station, or get a puncture in a car lot on a dry day. And then, of course, you never seem to have precisely what you need to deal with an emergency – unless you’re one of those people who are always prepared for these mishaps. If you are, read no further; if not let’s talk about how you can join them.
What you need is a car emergency kit. Every good car owner should have one. And these days there’s no excuse since there are hundreds of ready-made kits for sale costing as little as $25 and going up to perhaps $100. It's a little extra cheap insurance for your car. But then, how do you know which one to get? Or what if you want to make your own customized kit? And, of course, there are some essential items that every well-prepared driver needs that won’t be in a kit or fit neatly into a box. So, here are some of the essentials that should be in your emergency car kit:
• A first aid kit – get one at your local auto parts or drug store.
• A reflective warning triangle, preferably one with built-in lights.
• A set of jump leads, a tow-rope, fuses and an adjustable wrench.
• A flashlight that can both be hung inside the hood or mounted on the ground while you work, and a penknife.
• A cell phone. Even if you don’t normally use one, keep a pay-as-you go phone in the glove compartment. Have pen and paper too.
• A map of where you’re traveling thru (see GPS article item below).
• And, of course, a spare can of gasoline.
• Oh, and don’t forget an oil rag or paper towel – plus the duct tape!
If you’re traveling in remote areas or in adverse weather conditions, you should also have a survival kit with warm blankets, self-generating heat pads, energy bars, water – and set off with a full tank of fuel.