Creating an Emergency Kit for your Car

Although automobiles have become increasing safe with the implementation of modern technology, materials and manufacturing techniques, accidents and unforeseen emergencies are, unfortunately, a fact of life. Therefore an emergency preparedness kit for your car is essential, regardless of how much you drive.

Durable Backpack or Duffle Bag

A backpack or duffle is ideal for housing your emergency kit items, in case you get stranded and you may be required to walk a long distance.

Tool Kit

Even a limited took kit can help you make minor, yet essential repairs to keep your vehicle operational after an accident, minor engine/tire failure, or even bad weather leaves you stranded – saving you from having to abandon your car.

Walking Shoes

In the event that you do have to abandon your vehicle because of damage or an unsafe situation, it’s important to keep comfortable walking shoes and extra socks in your emergency kit.

Blanket or Sleeping Bags

Storing an extra blanket or sleeping bag in your car can help to keep you keep warm and protect against adverse weather conditions, in the event you are stranded for a long period of time.


While seemingly obvious, having at least one flashlight ensures you have a critical light source if you’re caught in an emergency situation at night. It’s also important to include extra batteries in your emergency kit, as sometimes batteries leak when they are left unused for a long period of time, or you might need extra if you need to travel a long distance.

First Aid Kit

A first aid kit can help you to clean and bandage any injuries obtained during an accident. This is especially important if you are unable to immediately receive medical attention.


It’s important to include bottled water in your kit, and it’s prudent to rotate out the bottles every two years. While the FDA doesn’t require an expiration date on bottled water, they note that “….long-term storage may result in aesthetic defects such as off-odor and taste.”* And it’s good to plan on approximately 1 gallon per person, per day.

Portable Radio

Radio stations provide critical instructions, warnings, and information following severe weather events, accidents or natural disasters. A portable radio will allow you access to all this information without wasting the battery life of your car.


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