car essentials kit

Being prepared for the unexpected is important for anyone who drives, especially here in Arizona. You never know when you’ll have a flat tire or run out of gas, so it’s crucial to make sure you have a “car essentials kit” in place. Here are several essential items in your car at all times.

1. Basic Car Emergency Kit

Your car essentials kit should include:

  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Multi-tool (or dedicated tools like a screwdriver, pliers, and wrenches)
  • Basic first-aid kit
  • Jumper cables
  • Road flares or triangles
  • Some sort of light reflective material (like reflective tape)

Keeping some basic supplies on hand, like water, non-perishable snacks, blankets, ponchos, and extra clothes and shoes is also important.

When building your customized emergency kit, consider the weather, the length of your upcoming trips, and any needs specific to your lifestyle, such as medications or medical supplies.

2. Cell Phone Charger or Emergency Power Source

Having a cell phone charger that operates separately from your vehicle on hand is essential—you’ll use your phone to call for help if you get stuck, are in an accident, or your car breaks down. A high-quality emergency battery charger can be used as a power bank and has several USB ports. Some models even have attached jumper cables.

3. Situation-Specific Emergency Items

If you often drive through rugged terrain or are planning a sightseeing trip through the Arizona mountains, it may be wise to carry tow straps or chains just in case you get stuck somewhere off the beaten path. Carrying an ice scraper and snow brush is critical if you live where it frequently snows.

Traveling through mountainous areas can put extra stress on your vehicle. It’s wise to keep a gallon of water and extra coolant in your vehicle in case it overheats.

While this list is not exhaustive, it’s important to consider how and when you travel to help determine which emergency items are most necessary for your situation. For example, if you often travel with young children, your list may be quite different than if you go on frequent solo hiking and camping trips.

Keeping certain items in your vehicle at all times can help you be prepared for a potential emergency situation. Be sure to double-check your supplies before going on a long road trip. Always let someone know where you are going and when you expect to arrive if you are traveling alone, especially if you are driving through remote areas of the southwest were cell service might be unreliable.

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