How To Create a Car Emergency Kit

How To Create a Car Emergency Kit

How To Create a Car Emergency Kit

Every year, there are tropical storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, flash floods, fires, and other emergencies that may force families to evacuate — or survive for days or weeks without access to power and other modern amenities.

Everyone should have an emergency supply kit at home if they face a severe weather emergency and need to hunker down and wait for help. But emergencies don’t always wait until you’re comfortably at home to strike. That’s why you should also keep a car emergency kit in your vehicle at all times. Here’s what your car survival kit should include.

The Basics for Roadside Safety

The most common emergencies you’ll face in your vehicle are accidents and breakdowns. So, make sure to keep the following basic safety supplies and equipment in your car:

  • Jumper cables
  • Spare tire(s) and jack
  • Road flares or a reflective triangle to make your car more visible on the side of the road
  • Ice scraper
  • Car cellphone charger
  • Map
  • Sand or cat litter for better traction
  • No-spill gas can
broken down car

How To Create a Car Emergency Kit

That basic car safety kit should serve you in a typical emergency if you’re stranded on the side of the road with a flat tire. But what if you’re likely to be stranded for a while? What if a blizzard hunkers you down for hours? What if widespread flooding means it could be a day or more before rescue workers can get to you? These seven supplies, in addition to the aforementioned equipment, can help you survive a more serious and extended emergency.

  1. Water

    While you probably don’t have room to carry several gallons of water with you, you can keep at least a gallon of drinking water in your vehicle. You can also keep some water-purification tablets in your first-aid kit in case you need to find other sources of water.

  2. Food

    Obviously, you don’t have room for a full supply of emergency food rations, but having some protein bars on hand can provide much-needed energy and calories in a pinch.

  3. Blankets

    Emergency blankets can save your life — if you use them the right way. While Mylar blankets, a type of emergency thermal blanket, can help keep you warm, they work best in conjunction with a more traditional blanket. If you’re caught out in the cold, wrap yourself in a lightweight fleece blanket and then use the space blanket as an outer layer.

  4. Flashlight

    Choose a sturdy emergency flashlight — and replace the batteries frequently. Not only will it help you see, but the better survival flashlights also give you the ability to signal for help.

  5. First-Aid Kit

    Purchase or assemble a first-aid kit to keep in your car. It should include, at a minimum, adhesive bandages in various sizes, disinfectant, aspirin or other pain reliever, gauze pads and adhesive tape, antiseptic wipes or hand sanitizer, tweezers, and small scissors.

  6. Clothing

    Wet clothing will increase your risk of hypothermia. Keeping a change of clothes and in the car will allow you to get into dry clothing if you get soaked. While you’re at it, tuck an extra hat or two into your emergency kit as well as gloves.

  7. Portable Weather Devices

    Portable devices like an anemometer will help you stay on top of local weather conditions, including wind speed and direction, temperature, wind chill, heat index, and more, which can give you early warning of dangerous weather changes. A lightning detector can also alert you to lightning strikes within 25 miles, giving you a heads-up to prepare for hazardous weather before it hits.

Be Prepared for Emergency Weather Situations

In any emergency situation, being prepared increases your odds of survival. Monitor developing weather conditions with a home weather station and avoid traveling when severe weather is impending if possible. If you can’t — or if you unexpectedly find yourself stranded when it hits — having a fully stocked emergency car kit will help you stay safe until it passes or until help can find you.

November 1, 2021
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