Car Emergency Kit
Be prepared with a roadside emergency kit.It’s a good idea to carry an emergency kit in your car in case a stop is necessary. A basic car emergency kit is relatively inexpensive and should include the following:
- Your AARP Roadside Assistance Membership Handbook(It lists the Roadside Assistance phone number and the procedures to follow to get help.)
- First aid kit
- Safety flares or reflective triangles
- "Help" flag
- Screwdrivers (a flat blade and a Phillips)
- Adjustable wrench
- Fire extinguisher
- Work gloves
- Jumper cables
More Emergency TipsOther items you might check or carry with you:
- See that your spare is inflated. If you have a "space-saver" spare, regularly check the canister used to inflate the tire. Keep your jack in good operating condition.
- You may want to consider carrying an extra set of belts for the fan, alternator, and power steering, especially if you own a foreign automobile.
- A container of sand is helpful if your car is stuck in snow or ice – gallon milk containers are ideal for this.
Using Jumper CablesJumping a battery is dangerous if not performed correctly. Always follow these rules:
- Wear glasses or goggles to protect your eyes.
- Connect the red clip of one cable end to the positive (+) terminal and the black cable to the negative (-) terminal of the starting battery.
- Attach the red clip of the other end of the cable to the positive (+) terminal of the battery to be jumped and connect the black clip to the car’s frame, engine support bracket or other good grounding element.
- Stand back and start the car that's giving the jump.
- Wait a few minutes, then start the car that had the dead battery.
- Remove the cables in reverse order.
If You Have to Pull Over
- If you are forced to make an emergency stop along a roadway, pull onto the shoulder or into the emergency lane as far as possible so that your car is completely off the road.
- Turn on your warning flashers and raise your hood.
- Place two flares or reflective triangles behind your car – one approximately 300 feet and the other no closer than 10 feet from the rear of your car.
- Never stand behind your car or between two parked cars.
- If you can get to a telephone, call AARP Roadside Assistance toll-free number.
- If not, display your "help" flag where it can be seen by passing motorists or tie a handkerchief or a white cloth to the door handle or antenna.
- If you have a cell phone, call 911 or another number to ask for assistance. Give your location as accurately as possible.
- Even if you don’t have a cell phone, many motorists do and will usually transmit a message requesting emergency help for a disabled car.
- Generally, it is best to stay with your car unless you know where you are or a service station or garage is within sight. If you do leave your car, be sure to roll up all the windows and lock all doors.
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