Car Emergency Essentials Checklist

The tools to keep on hand so you're ready for anything, from a flat to a fender-bender.

  1. Check Aerosol tire inflator

    Plug a small hole or a leak long enough to get to a garage. (Be sure the product doesn’t contain flammable gases, such as butane, propane, and isobutene.)

  2. Check Car-battery charger

    Forget the hassle of jumper cables. Get a jump-start with a compact charger that renews your battery via the car’s cigarette lighter.

  3. Check Duct tape

    After an accident, use the reinforced tape to patch things together temporarily.

  4. Check Empty gas can

    When filled, a one-gallon jug will hold enough to get you to a service station, without being burdensome to lug back to your car.

  5. Check Fire extinguisher

    You know how scary car fires can be if you’ve ever seen flames shooting from under your hood. Enough said.

  6. Check First-aid kit

    Stow a kit in an easily accessible space to treat cuts, burns, and traffic headaches.

  7. Check Flashlight

    Crucial for after-dark roadside repairs, emergency signaling, and, of course, old-school map reading.

  8. Check Reflecting triangles

    When your car breaks down or you pull over for a repair, make yourself visible—and warn off other drivers—with emergency reflective triangles.

  9. Check Scraper

    If you live in an area where cold weather brings ice and snow, choose a scraper that can tackle both.

  10. Check Tow rope

    In case you need a hitch—or want to give one.

  11. Check Traction panels

    Lay these lightweight metal panels under your drive wheels when you’re stuck in slush, ice, or sand.