Make sure your car is ready for anything. Beyond just checking that your car is in good working order, AAA recommends keeping an automotive preparedness kit in your car at all times to prevent an inconvenience from becoming an emergency.
The items for a basic kit can be gathered from around the home or purchased already assembled (such as in the AAA Premier Traveler Road Kit*) and should include the following
Primary Automotive Preparedness kit
- Jumper cables
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- Warning devices (flares or triangles- remember to always follow all safety instructions when using flares)
- Shop cloth (or a roll of paper towels)
- First-aid supplies
(All of the automotive preparedness kit items above are included in the AAA Premier Traveler Road Kit*, available at your local AAA Travel Store)
- Drinking water
- Non-perishable snacks for both human and pet passengers
- Window washer solvent
- Basic toolkit (screwdrivers, pliers, adjustable wrench or a good multipurpose tool)
- Car charger* for your phone (which should be programmed with rescue apps and important phone numbers including family and emergency services.)
- Emergency escape tool, such as ResQMe*. If you don’t have an emergency escape tool in your car yet, you need to have one. They range from a full-sized seven inches, to a keychain-sized three inches, and include a seatbelt cutter and a window breaker. Larger sizes can be kept in a glove box or mounted to the car interior for easy access when needed. Certain styles include a flashlight or beacon, giving you multiple kit items in one.
- Snow shovel
- Blankets (or an aluminum fabric Emergency Blanket*)
- Extra warm clothing (gloves, hats, scarves)
- Ice scraper*
(All of the items above are included in the AAA Severe Weather Road Kit*)
Winter Weather Additions
- Bag of abrasive material (sand, salt, cat litter) or traction mats
- Tire chains* (optional) and work gloves for when you fit them on
- Find more about winter weather preparedness at AAA.com/winterprep
Another great preparedness item is the American Red Cross FRX3+ Emergency Radio.* It receives AM, FM, and NOAA Weather Band broadcasts in case of weather emergencies, and can be charged via hand crank, mini USB, or solar cell. It includes a flashlight and a smartphone charger (so you can charge your phone with the hand crank even if your car battery is dead). Only slightly larger than a box of animal crackers, it is a small and necessary addition to every car and home.
And just a reminder: keep your AAA card in your wallet, not in your glove box. It covers you, rather than your car and allows us to come help you – no matter who is driving!
Visit your local AAA Travel Store
*Items available for purchase at the AAA Travel Store – selection may vary by location.