Readying Your Car for Any Roadside Emergency (Sponsored Post) #NoTrunkJunk

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DISCLAIMER: State Farm® compensated me for this post but the opinions expressed in this story are solely mine.

During my family’s recent holiday road trip through Texas, El Niño reminded us that when it comes to the weather and car safety, you can never be too prepared for emergencies: in the same week we drove through Houston, Austin and Waco, a spat of deadly tornados struck Dallas and a historic blizzard blasted El Paso.  

Even though I began serious family road tripping in 2008, I will be the first to admit that until just a two years ago, when I began some blogging projects for State Farm, I didn’t really understand that car safety meant more than just having a spare tire, jumper cables, a tire gauge, an emergency tire inflator and a flash light.

Those items are a good start but there’s much more to transforming your trunk than that.

Below is the ultimate check list of what a safe trunk should have:

  1. Hazard triangle (with reflectors) or road flares
  2. First aid kit
  3. Jumper cables or small battery charger
  4. Windshield scraper and brush
  5. Spare tire (make sure jack and lug wrench are in vehicle)
  6. Tow strap
  7. Blankets and extra warm clothing
  8. Cell phone and charger
  9. Road salt or cat litter to help with tire traction
  10. Brightly colored flag or “Help” sign
  11. Flashlight (with working batteries), matches or lighter
  12. Tarp for sitting or kneeling in the snow for exterior work like a tire change
  13. Small tool kit or multi-tool
  14. Duct tape – for temporary fixes
  15. High-calorie, non-perishable food
  16. Water
  17. Crucial medication

In addition to keeping these items in your vehicle, don’t forget to store emergency items in a bag, box or tub with a lid to prevent them from becoming projectiles in the event of a sudden stop, especially in vehicles with an open cargo area, like SUVs or pick-up trucks.  This will keep everything together, making your emergency supplies easy to find when you need them.

Finally, if you’re ahead of the game and already travel with an emergency kit, take inventory of your items to be sure everything is still working well, such as flashlight batteries. Check whether any food or medications may have expired.

P.S. In 2011, my wife and three of our kids had the ultimate road side nightmare when we got stuck in the Mojave Desert.  The photo you see below is from the classic story you can read about here.


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  • tannawings

    I would say jumper cables. The vast majority of the time, this is a must. I live in a cold climate so the needs chance as the season do!

  • tannawings

    I would also include kitty litter. I live where it snows and that really helps with traction.

  • tannawings

    This is where the comments are supposed to go isnt it? It is here the link leads on the form…..

  • Kristin G

    I keep jumper cables, extra blankets and food, windshield scraper, and a spare tire. I have never heard of using kitty litter! That is a great idea though.

  • tannawings

    We keep a small shovel in the trunk, and also a tow chain. Besides ourselves it could help someone else

  • tannawings

    We make sure there is a jar of peanut butter. Dont laugh but nott only is it edible but you can burn it for heat and it is non toxic.

  • tannawings

    Make sure you have a spare tire many new cars do not have one anymore not even the small ones. Or make sure you have a can of fix a flat .

  • tannawings

    We keep some plastic grocery bags in the car. No kidding if you put them over your socks and then put your boots on you will stay warmer and stay waterproof.

  • tannawings

    Besides a first aid kit or in addition to, add in pads (the kind for periods) theey absorb a whole lot, and are usually packaged individually) if you were hurt badly, they can hold a woumd closed.

  • tannawings

    One thing we keep is a days supply of meds in the trunk’s emergency kit. I keep changing it about every 3 months so it is fresh but the meds are there along with names and dosage and DR and their number.

  • serrao joselina

    We keep tissues, first aid kit, hazard triangle, jumper cables, blankets, phone charger, flashlight, tool kit, water, some food or snacks & plastic bags.

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