Is your car prepared for an emergency situation? Will you be ready if you have a tire blow out, get stuck in the snow, or worse, get into an accident? GIC Car Clinic cares about you, not just your car, so we have devised a list of the essential items that everyone should keep in their car:

  1. Your car’s Owner’s Manual. This handy guide contains a wealth of information about your car and what to do in an emergency situation.
  2. Jumper cables or booster pack, not just for when you are stranded with a dead battery but also so you can help a fellow motorist.
  3. A jack and tire iron. These normally come with the car but it is a good idea to make sure it is there and it works. Familiarize yourself with how to use it before you need to change a tire on the side of the road.
  4. Tire gauge, this will come in handy when refilling a tire with air. Most service stations that offer air don’t have a gauge attached to the hose anymore and those usually weren’t very accurate.
  5. Bottled water and dry snacks, come handy in case of an emergency in which you might be stuck somewhere for an extended period of time.
  6. First aid kit, a common sense item that many people don’t have in their cars.
  7. A tool kit including a flashlight (preferably a LED crank light.) You don’t need a complete set of mechanic’s tools, just a few things to get you out of trouble. Include a pair of pliers, screwdrivers and some basic wrenches as well as some duct tape and penetrating oil. A mult-tool is a good idea, too.
  8. An emergency car hammer should be kept in your center console. These are the emergency tools used to cut seat belts or break windows.
  9. A universal charger is essential in these modern times of smart phones and other portable devices.
  10. A blanket or some towels, even both. These will come in handy if you get stranded or you got dirty from repairing your car on the side of the road. An extra pair of clothes would be a good idea too.
  11. Paper, pens, and cameras. Invaluable in the event of an accident.
  12. Road flares or triangles. These can be used to signal other cars that you are in distress or are simply changing a tire on the side of the road at night.
  13. Battery-powered radio with extra batteries or even better, a crank-powered one can provide you with basic information about what to do.
  14. Quality Sunglasses - Before sunset the sun can be particularly brutal. You’ll want to be able to see the road.
  15. Cash - Just in case you forgot your credit cards.
  16. Maps - You can't rely on GPS all the time.
  17. Fire extinguisher (5 lb.) - In the event of a small fire, you have a chance to put it out preventing it from turning into a diaster.
  18. For colder climates that see snow, you should also pack a shovel, some rock salt and extra hats and gloves. Also, a piece of carpet can be used under your tire to help get you unstuck.
  19. Ice scraper. For only a couple of dollors, it will scrape ice off your windshield much faster and easier. Much better than make-do with a plastic credit card.

All of the above items in this list are inexpensive and easily stowed out of the way in your car until you need them. Being prepared and having the right things in an emergency situation could be the difference in you getting out of it safely. Pack these essentials in your car and be ahead of the game.