Your car probably has a lot of things that you need for work or the kids. But does it have everything you need for an emergency?
Your car is an investment and it can take you anywhere you want to go. You may have a beautiful car that is a joy to drive but when things go wrong and you are not prepared your car can mess you up. In Kenya especially, if you have an accident at night it can be a do or die situation so you need to be prepared to deal with the emergency immediately.
Here are 11 items you should always have in your car:
1. A jerrican.
It could happen that your car runs out of fuel – things happen like traffic jams. You should have a jerrican for the times when your tank is empty. But never keep it full of fuel. It increases your risk of a fire or an explosion.
2. Water bottles.
Have some water bottles in the car because they can be a lifesaver in case of an emergency. But the water can also help act as a coolant when you have issues like overheating. If you are keeping the water just in case you have an emergency and you need to drink it change the water bottles often and don’t leave them exposed.
3. Reflective triangles.
You need to have reflective triangles so that you can warn approaching cars of a hazard. If the road curves, you need to place the triangles ahead of the bend to warn approaching cars.
You need to have a blanket or two in case it gets really cold or you get stranded. You can also use it when you are fixing your car, as you can sit on it to protect yourself from the tarmac heat.
Don’t put your faith in credit cards or M-Pesa. You might have an emergency and your phone is dead or you are far from an atm or bank. With a car you need to have money for that surprise flat tire or another emergency. Have some money hidden somewhere in the car for that emergency, preferably in your boot. Remember to remove it if you have the car cleaned at the car wash.
6. Jumper cables.
Many Kenyans drive around without jumper cables but they are an absolute essential. You never know when your car battery will go down or you can sort out somebody else. The reason why you must have some is also because people are also unwilling to lend other people their jumper cables.
Have a flashlight in your car, preferably a magnetic flashlight. The great thing about a magnetic flashlight is that you can secure it to the magnet to your vehicle. It frees your hands to allow you to take care of your problem.
8. Duct tape.
Duct tape will help be able to help you keep stuff together until you can get to a garage. When your bumper or side mirror has an issue this will help you be able to move without worrying that something will fall off.
9. Emergency cell phone charger.
You probably have a charger for your car but when your car is out of power this won’t help you. Have an external portable battery charger with you or a power bank. Make sure you charge it every time you use it and have a specific one just for the car. This will make sure you are always sorted.
10. First aid kit.
A first aid kid is essential because you may get an accident and need to use it. It is also useful for other things like bee stings, small cuts and other minor issues you may have. Have a comprehensive first aid kit.
11. Automobile Association (AA).
If you can afford it pay for AA so that you can get roadside assistance in case you have an issue. Don’t underestimate the need for a breakdown service.