An emergency checklist from Consumer Reports
The key to taking an enjoyable family car trip is to be prepared for the unexpected. Start by keeping a road emergency kit in your vehicle year around.
Here’s a checklist of basics to include from Consumer Reports:
☐ Mobile phone
☐ First-aid kit
☐ Fire extinguisher
☐ Warning light, hazard triangle or flares
☐ Tire gauge
☐ Jack and lug wrench
☐ Foam tire sealant or a portable compressor and plug kit
☐ Spare fuses
☐ Jumper cables or portable battery booster
☐ Flashlight (check and replace batteries)
☐ Gloves, hand cleaner, clean rags
☐ Auto club card or roadside assistance number
☐ $20 in small bills (Tell your kids this is an emergency fund, NOT for buying ice cream!)
☐ Pen and paper
For longer car trips, especially through remote areas, add these to your kit:
☐ Basic tools: Include a set of socket and open-end wrenches, multi-tip screwdriver, and pliers.
☐ Coolant hose repair kit and tape: Available at any major auto-parts store.
☐ Extra clothes and small tarpaulin: Even if all you do is change a tire, you’ll have a change of clothes.
☐ Water and nonperishable emergency food: Bring enough for at least a meal, more for when traveling through remote areas or in extreme hot/cold regions.
☐ CB radio: For when your route takes you through areas where cellular service is spotty.
☐ GPS: Optional, but good-to-have when traveling to new places.
[Union Plus Motor Club costs less than AAA and includes a long list of 24/7 emergency roadside assistance benefits. Just $69/year covers your entire household. Enroll online.]
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