What to Keep in Your Car in Case of an Emergency

You can encounter an emergency situation any time you get into your car and hit the road. Unfortunately, one of the risks that you face in Charlotte and throughout North Carolina is the risk of getting into an auto accident. This is true even if you are a highly safe driver. The reality is that you just can’t control the decisions and actions of others.

However, not all roadside emergencies involve crashes. Some examples of other situations that can – and often do – occur are:

  • Flat tires
  • Mechanical problems
  • Collisions with a deer or other animal
  • Bad weather conditions
  • Running out of gas on the highway.


Are you prepared for an emergency? If not, then you should consider stocking your car today with the following important items. As you will see, you can fully equip your car for just about any emergency for as little as $60. The list includes:

  • Water ($0). Toss a couple of bottles of water in your trunk. If you are ever stranded for an extended period of time, you will need to stay hydrated. You can buy new water bottles or refill old ones for free.
  • Snack or meal ($10). You can pick up civilian meals-ready-to-eat (MREs) for about $10 or less. These meals last a long time. If you get stuck in a snowstorm or ice storm and end up stranded for a long time, you will be glad that you have something to eat.
  • Blanket ($1). You don’t need a fancy quilt. You can simply get an old blanket from a surplus store or use an old blanket in your home. The key is to have something to keep you warm in case you are in shock from an injury or left on the side of the road in cold weather.
  • First aid kit ($5). A basic first aid kit may come in handy. The kit should include, at a minimum, some bandages, gauze, medical tape and a wound dressing.
  • Jumper cables ($10). You can pick up a decent set of cables for around $10. Make sure the cables are long enough to run from your car to another car. You should also check the instructions so that you know how to use the cables if the need ever arises.
  • Rags or towels ($2). You can probably get these items for free, too, if you look around the house. If you need to check your oil or inspect something else under the hood, you will be glad that you have a rag.
  • Small tool kit ($7). You will want a small kit with wire cutters, some pliers and a universal screwdriver. (We assume that you have a tire-changing kit in your car. If not, you will need to get one, too.)
  • Flashlight ($5). Sure, your phone has a light. Still, you will be better off with a small flashlight. Just don’t forget to keep fresh batteries inside of it.
  • Emergency flares ($10). Flares are a must if you need to pull over to the side of the road due to a flat tire or mechanical issue. However, check the expiration date on the flares and replace them. (They typically last about three years.)
  • Cell phone charger ($5). Having a small, portable battery charger for your cell phone can be a lifesaver. You can actually get a charger for just a couple bucks if you shop around.
  • Snow/ice scraper ($5). We have several months of cold weather in North Carolina. You will want a scraper to speed up the process of getting the ice or snow off your windows. A scraper may also be essential if you lack a defrost system in your car due to mechanical or battery issues.


Did We Miss Something?

Remember, this is just a short list of ideas. You may want to add other items. For instance, many people also choose to keep a $20 bill stuffed in the visor just in case they need cash for a taxi or to make a purchase in a place that does not take a credit or debit card. Others keep a pair of gloves in their car – hence the term, “glove compartment.”

The main thing is to make a list of items that will keep you safe if you are ever in a bad situation on the road. Additionally, you should always make sure that you have an up-to-date registration and insurance card in your vehicle.

Get Help from a Charlotte Car Accident Attorney

If you ever get hurt because of someone else’s careless or negligent conduct, contact the Charlotte car accident lawyers of Warren & Kallianos, PLLC. We will explain your rights and discuss how we can help you to pursue full and fair compensation for your injuries. Our consultations are always free.