Auto Club: Create a Roadside Emergency Kit for Your Car for Winter Travel

(LOS ANGELES, Dec. 7, 2006) – With the onset of winter holiday travel and the potential for many Southern Californians to travel in areas with snow and ice, the Automobile Club of Southern California reminds motorists that it’s important to be prepared for a possible breakdown any time, including while vacationing, and even in a properly maintained vehicle.

According to the Auto Club, it’s important for drivers to be prepared for breakdowns or emergencies by outfitting their vehicle with food, water, tools, clothing and other gear in a roadside emergency kit which can aid them should their vehicle become disabled, or they become lost. Properly stocked, an emergency kit will help drivers repair minor breakdowns, or possibly survive, until help arrives.

“Placing several items in an emergency roadside kit in your trunk will help prepare you to handle minor mechanical problems to get yourself back on the road or until the Auto Club or other rescue help arrives,” said Steve Mazor, manager of the Auto Club’s Automotive Research Center. “These days, it’s very helpful to have a fully charged cell phone in your vehicle, along with water, food items, blankets, a winter jacket and appropriate foot gear,” added Mazor. If traveling to snowy areas, tire chains, and basic tools to affix the chains are also recommended. The Auto Club recommends the following items be included in a basic roadside emergency kit for a vehicle:  

Basic Roadside Emergency Kit Checklist:

  • Auto Club or AAA Membership Card (in your wallet)

  • Blanket (a solar blanket is lightweight and retains warmth)

  • Candles (in cold climates)

  • Cell Phone (charged and in vehicle)

  • Small Shovel for digging around tires if stuck

  • First Aid Kit

  • Tire Chains and appropriate tools

  • Tire Pressure Gauge

  • Fire Extinguisher

  • Flares, Warning Triangles or Reflectors

  • Flashlight with Extra Batteries

  • Heavy Gloves, Jacket, and Hat

  • Jack for Tire Changing

  • Jumper Cables

  • Paper Towel, Pencil and Notebook, Rags

  • Quart of Oil and Coolant (specific to your vehicle)

  • Reflective Sun Shade which can reflect sunlight into the vehicle to generate heat

  • Umbrella

  • Water and food