Essential Emergency Tools Every Driver Must Have in Their Cargo Van

Emergencies happen to the best of us, no matter how skilled we are as drivers. But just like any good boy scout or girl scout, you should always be prepared for any road emergency. Part of being prepared is having emergency tools stashed in your cargo van. With a few emergency tools at hand, you can survive any road mishap that can come your way.

Road veterans and DIY enthusiasts have varying opinions on what emergency tools you need to have in your cargo van all the time. At the very least, you stock up on these items in our list.

Information in your glove compartment

Information is power. This pretty much applies to everything. In case your cargo van breaks down or you get into an accident, you need to have access to information so you can get help. Ideally, the information should be neatly stashed away in your glove compartment.

What kind of information should you have?

  1. Your cargo van’s owner’s manual may tell you what to do in case something breaks down. If the problem isn’t too complicated, you may be able to fix it by yourself without having to call a mechanic.
  2. Contact information for the AAA or any roadside assistance network you’re a member of can assure you that help is one phone call away. The same goes for the repair shop you go to. It’s good to have these contact info saved on your phone. But in case your phone doesn’t work, have them written down in a notebook.
  3. Speaking of phones, your mobile phone may not always work where you are. You may be out of the coverage area so you may not be able to pick up a signal. Or your phone may break down. In that case, have a prepaid phone card ready to use if you can borrow someone’s phone or have access to a landline.
  4. A paper map is handy for when you get lost or don’t know where to go. After all, your navigation system may not work all the time. Even if you have a map app on your phone, it’s useless if you can’t pick up a signal or get online.

Emergency tools: Road map

Emergency tools you need to have within reach

There are situations where waiting for help to come may be too late and you have to act on your own. In such scenarios, you have to have a few emergency tools within your reach. You can store them in the glove compartment or the storage console in your cargo van’s cockpit.

What are these emergency tools you have to have within your reach?

  1. An emergency escape tool can help you cut the tough fabric of your seatbelt and break a window. You’ll need this tool if you’re trapped in your cargo van and need to get out immediately.
  2. A set of multi-tools can save you from a world of trouble as well. This especially works if you don’t have space in your cargo van for a full tool box (although that’s doubtful).
  3. Multi-tools typically have a knife or two in them, but it’s best to have an actual knife at the ready. Knives in multi-tools aren’t exactly as strong or durable as standalone knives. If you’re getting a knife with a foldable blade, make sure the blade locks in place. Or else you may end up injuring yourself.
  4. You also need to have a flashlight in your glove compartment. A flashlight is handy if you drive mostly at night. And even if you’re mostly a daytime driver, you’ll never know when a mishap befalls you in the dark. Get a flashlight with magnets on them so you can stick them to your car and have your hands free for MacGyvering.
  5. Duct tape is a magic tool that can solve a multitude of problems. Have one in your glove compartment and another one in your toolbox.

Emergency tools: Toolbox

Emergency tools you need to have in the rear of your cargo van

It’s great to have a few emergency tools stashed in your glove compartment or storage box in your cargo van’s cockpit. But there are other tools you must have that won’t fit in there and have to be stored in the rear.

What are these emergency tools you must have stored in the rear of your van?

  1. Sometimes, you don’t need to call a road mechanic to help you fix your vehicle on the road. Sometimes, all you need to have are your vehicle’s owner’s manual and a toolbox with screwdrivers, jacks, sockets, pliers, and other useful items.
  2. It’s not uncommon to experience a flat tire on the road. In that case, you have to have a spare tire, not to mention a jack for changing tires. If you don’t have a spare tire, you should at least have a tire inflator and sealer with you. To prevent flats in the first place, make it a habit to check your tires with a tire pressure gauge.
  3. Your batteries died on you? A set of jumper cables and the help of a passing motorist can bring your batteries back to life. If you don’t want to wait for a passing motorist or are simply wary of them, then have your own emergency battery booster.
  4. An ice scraper is great for getting rid of ice on your windshield in winter.
  5. A foldable shovel can literally dig you out of trouble.
  6. A reflective triangle will keep you safe if you have to stop your car for emergencies on the road. This triangle will prevent other vehicles from hitting yours when it’s dark or light conditions aren’t optimal.

Emergency tools: First aid kit

Other stuff useful in emergencies

When you’re in a road emergency, sometimes all you can do is to see to the comfort and well-being of your passengers and yourself. For that, you should have the following:

  1. A Mylar blanket or wool blanket can keep you warm in case you get stranded in the rain or in a blizzard. You can also cut up a wool blanket into strips for bandages in case of injuries.
  2. Speaking of injuries, have a first aid kit stashed in your vehicle’s rear too. That one’s self-explanatory.
  3. It’s useful to have a toiletry bag with soap and other products for maintaining hygiene. In case you get dirty while doing your emergency fix, you won’t have to stay dirty for long. A spare set of clothes also helps in case you got caught in the rain or are stranded.

Having a set of emergency tools can go a long way to saving you time and trouble in case of mishaps on the road. Always be ready and have them stashed away in your cargo van.