Real Simple Life Travel Travel Planning Car Emergency Essentials Checklist Car Emergency Essentials Checklist The tools to keep on hand so you're ready for anything, from a flat to a fender-bender. Advertisement Save FB Tweet ellipsis More Pinterest Mail Email iphone Send Text Message Print Image zoom RealSimple.com Checklist 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.) 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. Duct tape After an accident, use the reinforced tape to patch things together temporarily. 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. Fire extinguisher You know how scary car fires can be if you’ve ever seen flames shooting from under your hood. Enough said. First-aid kit Stow a kit in an easily accessible space to treat cuts, burns, and traffic headaches. Flashlight Crucial for after-dark roadside repairs, emergency signaling, and, of course, old-school map reading. 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. Scraper If you live in an area where cold weather brings ice and snow, choose a scraper that can tackle both. Tow rope In case you need a hitch—or want to give one. Traction panels Lay these lightweight metal panels under your drive wheels when you’re stuck in slush, ice, or sand.