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How to Assemble an Emergency Roadside Kit for a Desert Climate


Start with a few safety items, including a first aid kit, flares or reflective hazard triangles and a flashlight with extra batteries still in their original packing.


Prepare for a flat tire with a foam tire sealant or a DC-powered air compressor. Make sure in advance you know how to use these items.


Keep tools, jumper cables and assorted fuses on hand so you or a passing motorist can try to solve mechanical problems. Vise grips, screwdrivers, an adjustable wrench and pliers are good versatile tools. Duct tape, cotton gloves and clean rags may come in handy.


Identify tools or items in your emergency kit which can be used to defend yourself. You may choose to supplement your emergency kit with a defensive weapon such as pepper spray.


Carry extra coolant in case your car overheats or has a leak.


Bring bottled water--an absolute necessity for your survival in the desert. Stay well hydrated throughout the journey so you can better handle an emergency.


Stow everything in a duffle bag in the trunk.

Tips and Warnings

  • Inexpensive, aluminum-coated Mylar blankets are useful for reflecting sunlight and keeping you cool. If your car becomes too hot to stay in, find shade by lying under the car.
  • Use bottled water as a substitute for coolant.
  • Check to make sure all tires including the spare are adequately inflated before embarking on a long road trip.
  • If you don't own a cell phone, consider buying an inexpensive pre-paid one to keep in your car for emergencies.
  • Running the engine to keep cool can result in monoxide poisoning.

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