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9 Must-Have Items You Should Keep in Your Car (and Probably Don’t)

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From matches to duct tape, make sure you keep these essential items in your car.

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From matches to duct tape, make sure you keep these essential items in your car.

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No matter how much we prepare, emergencies and problems are unavoidable. With OnStar, you have added peace of mind knowing an Advisor is just a button-push away when the unexpected happens. However, it’s still a good idea to pack basic, essential items in your vehicle.

You may already have the obvious supplies — a windshield scraper and brush, snow shovel, flashlight, jumper cables, first-aid kit, bottled water and tire gauge. But here are some other important items to keep in your vehicle.

  1. Face mask: Make sure you always have a face mask in your vehicle, as they’re now required in many public spaces and businesses. It may be helpful to keep a few spare masks on hand for any passengers.
  2. Disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer: These are absolute must-haves. Use wipes to pick up spills, clean dirty hands and dust your dashboard. And, when you can’t wash your hands with soap and water, use hand sanitizer to help prevent spreading germs.
  3. Map: While an OnStar Advisor can provide you with directions,*20 it’s always good to have a physical backup on hand in case of emergency.
  4. Kitty litter: It’s great for absorbing and eliminating odors quickly if a child or pet gets sick in the car, but you can also spread it on ice or snow for traction during winter.
  5. Nonperishable snacks: Highly caloric and protein-rich, energy bars and nuts can make a long road trip bearable and provide some energy if you’re waiting for help to arrive. Keep a supply of bottled water as well, but replace it periodically to ensure freshness.
  6. Duct tape: This miracle material can fix just about anything, whether it’s holding your muffler in place, reattaching a mirror or simply getting dog hair off your seats.
  7. Utility knife/multitool: A multipurpose tool can get you out of many sticky situations. Look for something that can also be used to break a window or cut a jammed seatbelt.
  8. Matches: Store some safety matches in a freezer bag so they’ll stay dry. Be sure not to get the strike-anywhere matches, as you don’t want to cause an accident.
  9. Blanket: The value of a warm, dry blanket is obvious if you’re stranded in cold weather. It can also come in handy in a pinch for other uses, like an impromptu picnic during a road trip.