35 Must Have Emergency Car Kit Items [That Can Save Your Life]
We have all been stranded or know someone who has had to pull over to the side of the road.
No matter the reason; a check engine light, flat tire, or smoke coming from somewhere it should not be, it can be a stressful and scary time.
Emergency car kits can help ease your mind and depending on where your car breaks down, it can save your life.
What should be in your emergency car kit?
In this guide, we are going to break down the necessities of any emergency kit and explain how each item can help you.
An emergency car kit will have you prepared for most situations and give you the ease of mind that you have safety and security in your care for all situations.
We will break your kit down into three types of categories:
So enough talking and let us get to it.
Essentials for Your Emergency Car Kit
The essentials are something everyone will need no matter if you are in hot, cold, or moderate climate.
These items will help get you through most emergencies and back on the road. If you can’t get back on the road they are designed to keep you safe and comfortable while help comes.
1.) First Aid Supply Kit
A first aid kit will be handy for all sorts of situations including emergency and non-emergency. Make sure your kit has antibiotics, sanitation wipes, bandaids, bandages, and aspirin and medicine.
Flashlights are one of the most diverse tools you can have in your car emergency kit. If you need to see under the hood of your car, save your car battery by using a flashlight in the car, or if you need to look around your car and surroundings a flashlight is an invaluable tool.
3.) Tool Kit
Make sure to pack a tool kit that includes both Allen and Phillips head screwdrivers. The kit should also include a blade or knife, a pair of pliers, and a small wrench set. These tools should meet any needs you have fixing anything inside and outside your car.
4.) Jumper Cables
Jumper cables are kind of obvious as to why you should have them. If your battery is dead and you need a jump start you will need jumper cables. These are a must for any emergency kit.
5.) No-Spill Gas Can
If you ever run out of gas you have three options: call a buddy to bring gas, hire someone to tow you to a gas station, or walk to a gas station and bring gas back. If you do the latter, a no-spill gas can save you the hassle of trying to not spill the gas while you get back to your car. They are much easier to carry and save you money on spilled gas.
6.) Bottled Water
When your car breaks down or you have an accident on the side of the road it is best to be over-prepared than panicked and wishing you had something. Bottled water is a perfect example of being over-prepared. Who knows how long you will be in your car waiting for help and having water can keep you comfortable or even alive.
7.) Energy Bars
The same goes for energy bars. If you are over-prepare you will never be stuck in a situation wishing you had food or nutrition. Pack non-perishable food such as nut bars, specifically ones without chocolate or sugar.
8.) Road Flares
One of the biggest dangers of being stranded on the side of the road is traffic going by you. They might not see you, not be paying attention, or wreck because of the same ice or weather issues. Road flares draw attention to drivers and keep you safe from oncoming or bypassing traffic.
We almost included blankets in our climate section but we decided to include them here because blankets are so much more diverse. Besides just keeping you warm you can use blankets to block out the sun coming into the car, carry larger objects using two people, and used to block vents or cracks letting in the elements.
10.) Duct Tape
Everyone knows duct tape can be used for almost anything, so having it in your kit is no surprise. Duct tape can help with most things you need to seal in emergency situations. It can block out the elements and keep your car’s climate regulated.
11.) Fire Extinguisher
While car fires are rare and far more likely to happen in the movies you still want to be prepared. Any fire or smoke coming from your engine needs to be dealt with immediately. A fire extinguisher is the best way to handle fires and can save your car or life when used timely.
Case by Case Needs
These items might not apply to everyone hence case by case. According to All-State, 92% of people have not taken the time to think about what might be needed when in distress on the side of the road.
We include these items to give you ideas of what might be important in your unique situation.
Cold/Winter Climate Emergency Kits
If you live in a place that has cold weather or winter weather you might consider some of these items to keep you safe and warm in your time of need.
1. ) Extra pair of shoes and gloves
Staying warm in the winter while your car is stalled or you are on the side of the road is imperative. More than likely you have been outside your car checking on things if it is raining, snowing, or snow is on the ground your shoes and gloves are wet. Keeping an extra pair on hand can stave of frostbite and keep you nice and cozy.
Having antifreeze on hand will protect your engine if you stuck in snow or stalled for other reasons. If it’s really cold you don’t want your engine to lock up while you are fixing your car or waiting for help.
3.) Ice Scraper
Most people keep an ice scraper in there car during winter but this is a friendly reminder to have it in your kit in case you need to clear your car off after sitting for a while.
A shovel can be used to dig yourself out of the snow if you are stuck. A shovel can also be used to dig into the hard cold ground for some dirt to put on ice if you have skidded off the road and are stuck.
5.) Hand and Feet Warmers
For the same reason to keep an extra pair of gloves, it’s important to keep some hand warmers. If your car gets buried you should turn your car off. The exhaust pipe might be blocked by snow and you could be pumping CO2 inside your car. Since your car is off your going to need to keep warm and these babies are perfect at doing that!
Hot/Summer Climate Emergency Kits
Just like the cold/winter kit above, if you live in a place that can reach hot temperatures during some point in the year these items should be in your emergency kit.
1.) Windshield Reflector
Windshield reflectors are designed to keep heat and harmful sun rays out of your car. Having one up if you are stalled on a hot day can keep the car temperature up to 16 degrees cooler.
2.) Battery Powered Fan
Saving your car battery might be important so having a battery-powered fan to keep cool can be a lifesaver. It drains none of your car battery power and keeps air circulating inside the car.
3.) Sun Block
This is one of those no-brainer items but people often forget to include in emergency kits. If you have to walk to get gas, work around your car with no shade, or the sun is beating down on you, sunblock can be a lifesaver.
Baby Emergency Kits
If you have a baby or toddler you need to do some extra preparation. An infant or baby will have special needs during emergencies and being prepared will save you a headache and possibly your child.
1.) Extra Bottles
2.) Extra Formula
5.) Disposable Bags
Having an extra bottle and formula will ensure your child is fed throughout the emergency. You can use your bottled water from the essentials kit to make a bottle with the formula.
Extra diapers and bags to throw the diapers away in will keep your child clean and your car free from as much smell as possible.
Pet Emergency Kits
Just like infants, pets will have their own special needs in the time of emergencies.
You will not be able to communicate to them the situation like you would another person so items to keep them calm and comfortable will save headaches and your dog’s nerves.
1.) A small amount of pet food
2.) Water bowl
4.) Favorite toy
5.) Favorite treat
Having food and water for your pet is very important. Make sure you keep a small amount of food and a way to give them water from your water bottles.
If your pet can be put on a leash, keep an extra leash in the car to be able to control your pet when outside the car.
A favorite toy or treat can keep your pet distracted in a stressful situation and if your pet can take Benadryl, keep some pills in the car to keep your pet calm.
These items can be just as useful or important in any given situation. If you have space our your vehicle we suggest you put as many of these items as possible in your car.
1.) Hand Sanitizer
2.) Towing Belts
3.) Hand-Held GPS
4.) Battery Powered Cell Phone Charger
5.) Sleeping Bags
Having an emergency car kit can not only deescalate a tense situation, but can be life-saving.
Being prepared with an emergency car kit will give you the ease of mind in any stressful situation.
If you feel like we left something out or have any questions feel free to leave a comment below and we will respond!