The big question is often, what do I put in it? Or, what should I have in my car?
- Seatbelt Cutter / Window Punch - These are sold separately and as a single unit. Considering there is a great possibility of needing both for the same emergency, get the single unit! Unlike the rest of your emergency kit, this item should not be kept in your trunk. This item should be kept in the center console of your vehicle...where you can easily access it if you need to cut your own seatbelt to get out of your vehicle.
- Charged Cell-Phone - Generally, this item is kept on your person, not in your emergency bag. However, it is important to make sure that it is well-charged, if not fully-charged, when you get in the car. Battery life in your cell phone could mean the life or death difference of contacting 911 in an emergency.
- First Aid Kit - Your first aid kit should contain band-aids, gauze pads, adhesive tape, and antibacterial spray/ointment. If you would stop to help a vehicle on the side of the road, you might also want to include a few pairs of latex gloves and a CPR mask so that you can safely provide assistance to others.
- Fire Extinguisher - The chance of using an extinguisher on your own vehicle is probably a little on the slim side. But, it could happen. Or you might need it for another person's vehicle. Any extinguisher should be rated for Class B or Class C fires.
- Flashlight - You should have a flashlight and extra batteries in your kit. To ensure that your flashlight will work in various situations, it should be waterproof.
- Reflectors - To keep yourself safe while changing a tire or to keep others from crashing into an accident, you should set up triangle reflectors. Safety officers recommend placing 3 triangles about 35-50 feet apart so that motorists have warning they are approaching an emergency prior to being on top of it...giving them time to slow down.
- Blanket - Although many people might only think to put a blanket in their personal winter emergency vehicle kit in case they got stuck on the side of the road, it can be useful during summer months as well.
These are must haves for any first responder to have in their personal vehicle in case they come upon an accident. If you are looking to pack your personal emergency kit, you should also include a non-perishable food item (like protein bars), water, jumper cables, tire sealant, and a tire gauge.