Kelly's Automotive Medford & Grants Pass Oregon Emergency Car Kit Check List

Below are some recommended items to take on a long driving trip. But nothing beats a trip check BEFORE you leave.

TIRE CHAINS - Be sure to try chains on tires before going on trip to be sure they fit properly and can be easily installed.

TARP - in case you need to put chains on in snow.

GLOVES, EMERGENCY BLANKETS, SKI HATS - Cars use the engine to produce heat, so if the engine conks out, so does the heater. Even if the engine is working - say, after an accident - running it is a safety gamble, because if the exhaust system has rust holes or damage, fatal exhaust fumes can seep into the passenger compartment. Besides, your car may not be the safest place to be in an emergency. Emergency blankets are small, light and cheap. (Ski hats: Experts say that 30 to 40 percent of body heat can be lost through the head. Carry a few inexpensive beanie-style winter hats, big enough to cover the ears.)

CELL PHONE AND CHARGER - We don't recommend that you talk on a cell phone while driving, but in an emergency, this can be the single most valuable component of your kit. Keep a car charger handy. If you don't have a cell phone, buy an inexpensive pre-paid unit to keep in your car so you can call for assistance.

GPS navigation system - This is an optional item, but good to have when traveling to new places.

FIRST AID KIT containing aspirin, bandages, gauze, eyewash, moist wipes, antibiotic ointment and burn cream.

MEDICATIONS - have a day or two supply of your medications with in case a road or weather conditions causes an extended delay.

WINDSHEILD SCRAPER - Good visibility is your most important safety item, but persistent snow and ice can build up quickly and make it hard to see. A long-handled, soft-bristled brush can also come in handy.

DUCT TAPE - You'd be surprised how many times a single roll of duct tape will save you. Duct tape can temporarily fix a broken windshield wiper, hold glass together, pick up glass shards, serve as a temporary gas cover, mend a broken hose and has a thousand other uses.

WARNING LIGHT, HAZARD TRIANGLE OR FLARES - If your vehicle is stuck on the side of the road, it's vital that you give other motorists as much warning of its presence as possible, especially at night. Look for a battery-powered warning light that can be placed far from the vehicle. Reflective hazard triangles and flares are also effective and don't need batteries.

BRIGHTLY COLORED CLOTH or "emergency" sign which you can tie or place somewhere on your car to signal for help.

BASIC TOOLS such as wrenches, screwdrivers, pliers, and socket wrenches, extra fuses.

BOOSTER CABLES or a portable battery booster - Jumper cables are easy to use as long as you have a second car available to provide a jump. Refer to your owner's manual for instructions. A portable battery booster eliminates the need for a second car.

FLASH LIGHT - This can be critical at night. Choose one that is bright and weatherproof. In addition, a flashlight with a magnet, flexible mounting system, or a stand will free up your hands for other tasks. Also, have extra batteries and a bulb available.

BOTTLED WATER - water for consumption or to put in your car if necessary. If traveling in below freezing temps some anti-freeze for the engine is also advisable.

NONPERISHABLE EMERGENCY FOOD - Bring enough food to sustain you and any passengers for at least a meal, longer for remote areas or in extreme hot/cold regions.

PORTABLE RADIO - for weather reports

FIRE EXTINGUISHER - A car fire can start from something as simple as a wiring short circuit or leaking oil. You should get away from a vehicle that's on fire as quickly as possible. Still, for extra security it's good to keep a fire extinguisher in the car that can be used in any emergency or to quickly dose a small flame that's just begun. The quicker a fire can be put out, the less damage it will cause. Multipurpose dry-chemical fire extinguishers are available in a variety of sizes.

JACK AND LUG WRENCH - Almost all vehicles come with these items for changing a tire. Refer to your owner's manual on where they're located in the vehicle and how to use them.

SMALL FOLDING SHOVEL - If you get stuck in snow, this can be a vital tool. A folding camping-style shovel will require more digging effort than a longer-handled shovel, but is more convenient to store in the vehicle.

BAG OF CAT LITTER - This can help provide some traction on an especially slick road surface.

CHILDREN'S BOOKS OR GAMES - If you travel with children, keep a few emergency activities stowed away to fight boredom and keep the kids occupied while you wait for help.

AUTO CLUB CARD or roadside-assistance number - If you belong to an auto club or roadside-assistance program, be sure you have the necessary information in your vehicle.

LET PEOPLE KNOW THE ROUTE YOU ARE TAKING AND STAY ON MAIN ROADS

CHECK WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS - Before venturing out during the winter, tune into your local radio or television station for an updated weather forecast. tripcheck.com or rogueweather.com are great resources for traveling in Oregon.

Know what storm warnings mean!

  • Winter storm watch : Winter storms are possible in your area.
  • Winter storm warning: Storms are heading to your area
  • Blizzard warning: Strong winds and dangerous wind chills are expected.