Learning Center

Prepare a Car Emergency Kit Checklist

Don't let car troubles leave you stranded. Minimize your risk — and inconvenience — by being prepared.

Video Transcript

So you are part of the 200 million cars on our roads. Owning an automobile is a pretty cool thing. Lots of trips to the store, to work, to school and yes, those fun road vacations.

But at some point, along some stretch of road, you may find yourself dealing with a flat tire or mechanical failure. Now what?

Here is the break down on prepping for a breakdown.

Number one, your cell phone. This handy little communication device is by far the most important tool to carry along for the ride. When you are dealing with a breakdown, having the ability to call for help is vital. It will keep you calm and also ensure help is on the way. That is peace of mind.

Now, let’s talk about what you should store in your vehicle or always carry with you. Remember to “trunk it in your trunk kit.”

These items can be a lifesaver when you are stranded along a roadside.

  • Flashlight.
  • Jumper cables.
  • Tire sealer inflator. (This little can of pressurized air with a tire sealer can really help get you to a safe place to have a flat tire serviced. They are available at most auto part stores or department stores. This is a low cost purchase and worth every penny.)

Some other items to keep in your trunk could include:

  • Tow ropes.
  • Duct tape.
  • And a first aid kit.

And if the weather is inclement, a blanket and rain gear can help keep you warm and dry.

A pliers and crescent wrench are very handy items to have. Throw an extra set in that trunk kit.

No one wants to think about having to escape our car by breaking the car window. But a flat head screw driver or a car window-breaking tool, like the life hammer, are perfect to keep in your glove compartment.

If you have an old cell phone lying around your house, grab it, make sure it is fully charged, turn it off and put it in your vehicle. Any cell phone — whether it has an active service plan or not — will transmit a 911 call. Basic 911 rules by the Federal Communication Commission requires all wireless service providers to transmit all 911 calls regardless of whether the caller subscribes to their service or not.

If you travel great distances for work or for that family road trip, consider packing some of these supplies as well.

  • Bring along some granola bars, power bars or nuts. These high protein easy snacks take up little space and have great nutritional value if you ever happen to be isolated in your car for a long period.
  • Always, always, always bring along some bottled water. Bottled water is a lifesaver. Period.
  • And in snowy climates, a small utility shovel may help dig you out.

Now that you know the break down on prepping for a breakdown, you can feel safer on the road.

For additional protection, check out the cost of Emergency Roadside Assistance coverage. The road of life has many twists and turns. Reduce your risk and ease your mind by being prepared and knowing you are prepared if your car does break down.

When you are stranded...

Let American Family Emergency Road Service get you going again.

Hitch A Ride