It’s summer. No snow, freezing rain, whiteouts, wind chills, or frost. Since you don’t have to worry about digging your car out of the snow or a frozen battery, you probably don’t need to worry about a summer emergency kit for your vehicle, right?
Just like the winter emergency kits you (should) be keeping in your vehicle during the colder months, you should always make sure you’re stocked with summer-specific emergency items. Simply put, having a summer emergency kit can prevent a roadside inconvenience from turning into a downright vehicular nightmare.
It’s summer. What’s the worst that could happen?
A lot, actually. Warmer weather means people are more likely to drive longer distances for vacations, family visits, and the like. Longer trips not only mean more mileage on your car, which increase the likelihood of mechanical failure (especially if you’re driving an older vehicle), but summer temperatures can lead to dead batteries, deflated or exploding tires, overheated engines, or dehydrated drivers.
And that’s not all. Summer weather means more travel congestion and more inexperienced teen drivers, cyclists, bikers, vacationers, construction workers, and drunk drivers sharing the road with you. Don’t forget about trying to navigate through the construction and maintenance work that invariably explodes all over town as soon as spring and summer hits. And all this is on top of the usual hazards we face year-round, like collisions, mechanical breakdown, or animals running into the road.
What your summer emergency kit needs
If you’ve got a winter emergency kit, then you should already have most of the items on this list. The others are easy to get, but some will need to be checked or restocked from time to time, so make sure you check your kit regularly, particularly before going on long trips.
Here are the essential items every summer emergency kit should include:
- 1 gallon of water, plus one bottle for each passenger
- Phone charger
- Non-perishable snacks, like granola bars, energy bars, dried fruit, or unsalted nuts
- First-aid kit
- Flash light
- Pocket knife or multi-tool
- Sunscreen and hats
- Fire extinguisher
- Reflective triangles
- Tool kit with some essentials, like wrenches, pliers, and screwdrivers
- Tow strap
- Tire sealant
- Tire Inflator
- Jumper cables
- Two quarts of oil
- Tire jack and lug wrench
- Umbrella for shade or rain
Some other items, while not essential, will be nice to have on-hand if your car breaks down. These include:
- Toilet paper
- Feminine protection
- Hand sanitizer
- Lip balm
- Deck of cards
- Spare change
More safe driving trips for any time of the year
- Make sure your car follows its recommended maintenance schedule, including oil changes and tire rotations.
- Have your vehicle inspected by a professional before going on a long trip.
- Drive only when you’re well-rested.
- Make sure your seatbelts are in proper working order and that you and your passengers always wear them.
- Drive defensively, not aggressively.
- Apply sunscreen every two hours if you’ll be sitting in the car during daylight hours.
- Don’t drive if you’ve been drinking, even if you don’t feel drunk.
- Don’t speed.
- Enrol in a roadside assistance program if you’re not covered under a warranty program.
- Never text and drive.
- Always be prepared!