There’s nothing like a disaster to make you think of things you WISH you had prepared for.

You know what I mean…after driving on a basically flat tire to the 5th gas station whose air pump ONLY takes quarters, you start to think maybe you should keep a roll of quarters in your car…just in case.

Here’s a list of twelve things you should keep in your car for emergencies…some obvious and some not so obvious.

  1. Fix a Flat
  2. Tire pressure gauge
  3. Quarters for the air pump…so you don’t have to scrounge under the seats praying there are some stuck in there.
  4. Jumper cables or an emergency battery booster*(On a personal safety note, if you have a young adult driver, talk to them about what to do if someone asks them for a jump. Honestly, I would tell my daughter to say she is on her way to an appointment if approached by someone she does not know. There are just too many predators out there, and teens don’t always know who to trust. There are lots of other ways to be a good Samaritan that are not as dangerous.)
  5. Contact information for Roadside Assistance if you have it. (You may have it as part of your insurance but might forget about it in a pinch.)
  6. Multi-use tool. You can go down the rabbit hole on Amazon looking at all the cool features some multi-use tools have, but I always find a good old Leatherman to have more than enough for what I need.
  7. Seat belt cutter and window breaker. This $7 tool could save your life, but it’s important to keep it in the center console. Obviously, if you are in a situation that requires a seat belt cutter, you will probably not be able to get into the trunk to fetch it from your safety kit.
  8. An extra phone charger and USB plug (not the one you use daily. An EXTRA…because you know you will take it out at some point!)
  9. A charged-up phone battery pack (in case of the phone battery AND car battery die)
  10. A printed list of phone numbers to call in an emergency (again…dead phone…)
  11. First Aid Kit
  12. Flashlight

You can get really fancy and add things like bottles of water, protein bars, disposable ponchos, and baby wipes. Or if you are a parent, adding a blanket and changes of clothes might be handy as well. In my experience, this kit works best when it’s a true emergency kit – not a kit for daily or occasional SNAFUS.