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Emergency Roadside Essentials

Man changing a car flat tire.

Nothing is worse than being stuck on the side of the road with a broken-down car or other emergency, and not being prepared.  Make sure that you always have an emergency roadside kit full of essentials in case of a weather, traffic or medical emergency, or a flat tire or other mechanical problem. While you can buy a prepackaged emergency kit, buying supplies and assembling a kit on your own will not only save you money but ensure that you have everything you need for the climate in which you live, the type of Ford you drive, and your level of handiness.

Personal Safety

A long wait roadside can really be a drain…on your cell phone.  You may need to call roadside assistance, family members, your employer or even emergency services.  Don’t forget to add a compatible charging cord, or the battery won’t do you any good, and of course, make sure the portable charger has full power before sticking it in your emergency kit. A first aid kit complete with bandages, wound cleaner, antibacterial gel, and scissors is an absolute must, along with several blankets in case of a breakdown in inclement weather.

Food and Water

One would certainly hope you won’t be roadside long enough to need a meal, but keep some food like granola bars and chips that don’t need to be refrigerated but also won’t melt in the heat.  Having food at hand is especially important when traveling with young children. Keeping water in your emergency roadside kit is important not just for hydration but can be used for hygiene and mechanical purposes in some situations. Just make sure to swap out bottled water every six months or less to keep it safe for drinking.  Extreme temperature changes can make bottled water less safe after a long storage period.

Get Yourself Going

Possibly the most obvious emergency roadside essential, jumper cables can be used to restart a dead car battery and get you on your way.  If you live in a cold climate where snow and ice are regular winter visitors, keeping cat litter for traction and a snow shovel for digging yourself out can also help you help yourself out of an otherwise tough spot.

Vehicle Safety

Bright orange cones can signal other drivers to a stopped car ahead, keeping both you and your car safer from oncoming traffic.  A flashlight and fresh batteries should always be kept in your kit as well, as you shouldn’t rely on your cell phone flashlight in an emergency.  A tool kit for repairing minor vehicle or tire issues, as well as duct tape which can be used to temporarily patch almost anything will both be valuable additions.

Driving prepared with emergency roadside essentials not only gives you peace of mind and can be invaluable in an emergency, keeping a kit of emergency supplies can also help you assist a fellow driver in need.  For yourself, your family, your community and fellow drivers everywhere, assemble and always carry your emergency roadside kit in your Ernest McCarty Ford vehicle.