What You MUST Carry in Your Car
Check Your Kit
1. Safety Items for Immediate Aid
Your car is equipped with a safety kit — you need to locate it. Not sure where the manufacturer tucked it away? It's usually in the trunk area. Reference your owner's manual.
Found the kit?
- Check that everything is actually there. Review the kit's list of items and replace anything that's missing.
- Review expiration dates — bandages will age and creams expire. Replace any that are questionable.
Do you not have a kit?
- Pre-assembled kits are available in the outdoor section of your retail store. You can look for a car set or pickup a standard set. There should be several models near the camping supplies.
- There is an option of buying individual parts yourself, though it may be costly. This way you can buy your favorite brands.
Review your kit:
- Allergens. Gloves are sometimes latex. You'll want to remove them and add a latex-free pair if it's an issue. Review the cleansers and medications if you are your family are sensitive to any of these. Replace with the appropriate alternative.
- Make a note in your maintenance log (or planner) to review these items in 6 months. You may note any items that are close to expiration.
- Practice quickly getting to your kit. In an emergency or rush you don't want to fumble.
- Is yours in the trunk? Remember that a trunk loaded for a road trip or groceries may block access to the emergency kit. Consider moving the kit to under a seat.
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2. Your Car's Needs
If you have it with you, odds are you won't need it
- Jumper cables. You can't get a jump (or jump a friend) without them. Choose a quality, heavy pair. You'll only buy these once and a nicer pair will work better.
- Extra motor oil. Running low or dry can destroy a car. Keep at least a quart of the motor oil that your car takes.
- Anti-freeze. DO NOT OPEN THE RADIATOR WHEN HOT — BURN HAZARD.
- Tool kit. The car should have one. Learn where it is stored and review any specialty tools specific to the car.
- Check the spare. Is it in the trunk? Under the car? Remember to check the spare tire's condition. If it is dry rotted or damaged it can't be used.
- Water. Water is always good to carry. It can temporarily refill a windshield washer reservoir or rinse your hands.
Supplies for the car
3. Personal Emergencies
It happens - you spill something on your shirt before a meeting, a visit becomes a sleepover. Be ready.
1. Slip a little cash somewhere. You never know - maybe one day your credit card is damaged, or card readers are down. Maybe we need some emergency gas funds.
2. Build a "bug out" or overnight bag. Why?
- maybe we spilled lunch
- surprise illness or hospital stay
- late night, staying with a friend when were too tired to drive (or partied a little too hard)
Pretend you're going on an overnight trip. What do you need?
- an extra t-shirt, or a shirt you can pass off as office casual, or a dress (if applicable)
- nice pants or jeans
- extra set of undies, socks, other undergarments
- emergency sweater for chilly offices
- light toiletries: toothbrush, hair brush, face wash, extra deodorant
- shoes. Recommend sneakers in case of emergency like a tire change. Since I usually wear sneakers I carry fashionable boots in case I need to look more formal.