The Importance of an Emergency Car Kit


emergency car kitEmergency Car Kit

 An emergency car kit is crucial for breakdowns and unusual weather conditions. 

  • It is always good to keep essential supplies in your car in case you get stranded for a few hours or even a few days.  A car’s trunk will only hold a certain amount of equipment. 
  • Because of the limited space in the trunk, you will want to use the glove compartment (so the smaller items will not get lost under the larger equipment). Put items under the seat or use a box, tool kit or lock box to store your emergency equipment in the trunk. 
  • As the seasons change, make sure you prepare your car for the change.  Depending on your circumstances and location, your level of preparation may vary.  You may need snow tires, new windshield wipers and fluid, anti-freeze, heater/air conditioner service, recommended scheduled tune-ups, etc. 
  • Many types of disasters can strike while you are in your car – snow or ice storms in winter, floods in spring, and hurricanes, tornados or lightning storms in summer and fall. Your survival will depend on how well you have prepared ahead.  For everyone it should mean preparing your car and family for whatever could happen.

Although it can seem like a daunting task to put a survival kit together, it can actually be a very easy and interesting project. The greatest challenge can be organizing your kit with the least amount of layout of cash.

  • Start by looking around your home for those items you already have. Add a few items each week if you need to buy things.
  • Food and water are the most important items, followed by a blanket or sleeping bag for keeping warm.
  • If you are not interested in organizing your own kit, you can purchase one already made and just add any extra items you want included in your pack.


What should I keep in my auto emergency kit? 

  • First, you want to make sure you have the basic essentials such as water (the utmost important thing to put in your kit because your body will dehydrate without water within 3 days which leads to organ failure and death), food and warmth. 
  • After these basics are included, then you can add other necessities such as an emergency light, first aid items, tools and other accessories. 


Several tips you will want to consider

  • Reverse batteries when not in use to prevent accidental burnout; replace yearly.   
  • Consider carrying a cell phone; you can purchase a prepaid phone that can be used for emergency use only.   
  • Carry a rope to tie yourself to the car when leaving vehicle during a storm. 
  • Always try to maintain at least one-half tank of gas. 
  • Food is difficult to keep in your car because it is exposed to extreme temperatures, both hot and cold; it is best to store high calorie food bars because they can be exposed to extreme temperatures, won’t leave you thirsty thus reducing the demand on emergency water and expand your stomach so you feel full. 
  • A 3 day survival supply of emergency food is the minimum survival recommendation and you should maintain a week’s supply of emergency food in your vehicle for proper emergency preparedness.
  • Include a multi-purpose knife such as a Swiss Army knife because is provides many different tools for you to work with in a time of need.  A Samurai survival tool provides an axe, hammer, and pry tool all-in-one. 
  • Before attempting to use any of the other items in your kit during an emergency, get your flares out and place them in front of and behind your vehicle. Put them far enough away to warn drivers of your presence and give them time to slow down to avoid hitting you.
  • Remember to always let someone know what time you left and what time you expect to arrive at your destination. 
  • If you have no way of calling for help, tie a bright red piece of cloth on your antenna. This is generally recognized as a call for assistance. 


By taking these precautions, you can prepare your family for an emergency and feel more confident as you travel. At Dave Reed Insurance, we want you to always have Peace of Mind. Here is a list of items to include in your emergency kit.

Car Emergency Preparedness Checklist

_____   Large Tool Box to keep items in

_____   Case of bottled water or a gallon of water

_____   Food, non-perishable high-energy, (high calorie food bars, dried fruit, granola bars, peanut  butter, crackers and canned goods)

_____   Manual can opener and basic eating utensils (metal cup for water)

_____   Extra clothes and boots/shoes (for winter:  coat, hat, gloves and scarf)

_____   Couple Large plastic garbage bags to help insulate feet

_____   Wool blanket or Sleeping bag

_____   6 to 20 hour hand and feet warm packs 

_____   Emergency Poncho or rain gear

_____   Flashlight and extra batteries

_____   Candles, water-proof matches, and a deep can to melt snow or hold candles

_____   Light Sticks

_____   Six – 15-minute road flares or set of reflective warning triangles

_____   Help sign (or a strip of Red cloth to tie on antenna to signal for help)

_____   Gas can, empty 2 gallon size

_____   Short rubber hose for siphoning

_____   Battery Jumper Cables, 12-foot length and Battery charger

_____   Spare Tire and Jack 

_____   Four-way lug wrench

_____   Aerosol flat tire fixer (such as fix-a-flat)

_____   Tire repair kit and pump

_____   Sack of sand or salt (cat liter works well also) for tire traction 

_____   Fire extinguisher (5-pound, A-B-C type)

_____   Tow rope or chains

_____   Ice scraper

_____   Antifreeze / Windshield washer fluid 

_____   Two quarts of motor oil

_____   Extra fuses

_____   Basic Tool kit:  (Include:  Tire pressure gauge, wrench-and-socket set, flat- head and Phillips screwdrivers, hose clamps, pliers, vise grips, adjustable wrench, hammer or axe and small shovel) or a Samurai survival tool (provides an axe, hammer, and pry tool all-in-one)

_____   Swiss Army knife

_____   Roll of Duct tape

_____   Roll of Reflective tape (to help with visibility) 

_____   First aid kit with essential medications and manual (include burn cream and tweezers)

_____   One-way valve for mouth-to-mouth resuscitation 

_____   Medications and extra pair of glasses

_____   Battery-powered AM/FM radio with extra batteries

_____   Extra Set of keys

_____   Cell phone and charger

_____   Whistle and Compass

_____   Rags and/or roll of paper towels

_____   Automobile ownership papers

_____   List of emergency contact numbers (Including an emergency tow service) 

_____   Road Maps

_____   Pencil / pen and paper and disposable camera (to record an accident and thoughts)

_____   Dollar bills and Quarters, dimes and nickels 

_____   Toilet paper and other personal care supplies (such as toothpaste, toothbrush, hand    sanitizer and sanitary napkins and/or tampons)

_____   Book, puzzles or other non-battery item to help pass time

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