What To Have In Your Vehicle Emergency Kit

This week’s Disaster Preparedness Tips will help you keep your family safe while you are away from home and on the road. It is a great idea to look at your automobiles, recreational vehicles, and even vessels as an extension of your home. Many people spend more time travelling and recreating in these vehicles than at home during certain times of the year. You can benefit from equipping all of your mobile vehicles with emergency tools, first aid, food and water. 

You can actually be more exposed to risk when you are away from the security of your personal residence. Please review this valuable information regarding needed supplies and preventative maintenance suggestions to keep you safe while away from the comfort of home. 

Part of any effective Emergency Preparedness Plan should include the contingencies and protection for wherever you find yourself and family throughout the country. Similar to a pilots flight plan, considering a safe travel plan with the proper tools and supplies could save your life.


You should make extra preparations to travel in winter. The chances of you getting stuck or stranded are higher. Extremely hot summers can cause you concern as well. Cars can fail, there can be an accident or you can get a flat tire in any weather. So you will need some emergency supplies.

This is why we’ve broken the list into sections. Each section builds on the last. Certain things are essential for all occasions, especially if you're traveling on a long road trip or in winter.

These are not included in the checklist, but proper car maintenance can help prevent car emergencies from ever happening.

Additionally, you should learn the basics of car emergencies such as how to change a tire or how to use jumper cables safely. This knowledge is invaluable as you never know when you will need it.

Even if you don’t know how to do them yourself, it is a good idea to have the right equipment for someone else to use. You might get help from a good Samaritan or a service like AAA or On-Star.

Although we understand that space is limited in your car, these supplies are vital. You can choose to have smaller quantities of the equipment so that it takes up less space. Then, place it in your trunk and keep it there. If you don't have enough room, try the declutter gloves box mission or declutter trunk mission - you'll be glad you did.

Remember to replenish your supplies at least once per year. This will ensure that everything works properly, and doesn't get spoiled or expired.

Trouble on I-95

As part of the Create an Emergency Preparedness Kit Challenge, we're making our homes ready for any emergency. Many of us spend a lot of time on the road, so it's important to have an emergency preparedness kit in your car or other mobile vehicles.

This task could be done as part of an emergency preparedness challenge, but it can also be applied to the Car Organization Challenge. Take the challenge and prepare your family for the many emergency situations that could arise.

We were reminded of the importance of having emergency plans in your car when multiple vehicles were stuck on I-95 in a massive blizzard. People were literally unable to get anywhere because the entire highway was shut down.

They were forced to call the National Guard for help, but this was only after long lines of cars sat there, frozen, for 14 hours.

People who had blankets, food, water and other emergency supplies did better than those who didn't have them. One of the stranded was an Eagle Scout, so he was prepared. The story was a success, but it also made others realize that they must be more prepared.

Essentials for Your Vehicle Emergency Kit

This is the list of needed items in effective vehicle emergency kits, along with links to purchase more unusual equipment.

Must Haves In Your Vehicle

  • Car charger for cell phone
  • Road flares and reflector triangle
  • Hand crank flashlight
  • Properly inflated spare tire
  • Jack and lug wrench (for changing your tires)
  • Gloves and rags for work
  • Air compressor for cigarette lighter
  • Jumper cables
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Additional quart of oil
  • Gallon of antifreeze
  • Windshield washer fluid
  • Additional headlight and taillight bulbs
  • First Aid Kit

Additional Information for Long Trips

  • Basic automotive tool kit (Phillips screwdrivers, regular head screwdrivers, socket wrenches and open-ended wrenches, as well as pliers, electrical wire tape, and socket wrenches)
  • Water pouches or bottled water
  • Non-perishable emergency snacks

Winter Weather Additions

  • Snow scraper/brush
  • Kitty litter (or sand) for traction
  • Folding shovel for digging out snow
  • Optional snow chains
  • Blankets or bivy sacks (enough to cover everyone in the car)
  • Chemical hand warmers
  • Spray de-icer
  • Lighter

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