Be prepared! A car emergency kit contains everything you need to stay safe and wait out a potential breakdown. With our simple DIY car emergency kit, you will be ready to navigate any unexpected bumps in the road.
Why an Emergency Kit Is Essential
Planning for the worst-case scenario can help make the best of a dire situation. Creating an emergency fund can help you be prepared whether you are dealing with a financial emergency, health emergency or vehicle emergency. While you might need that money later to repair your car, a car emergency kit includes the things you need to fix your car or keep you warm and hydrated if you become stranded. A car emergency kit can make a tough situation more bearable.
What to Include in the Kit
Be sure to store your car emergency kit in a large plastic tub with a lid that seals. Here are the items you should include:
- Jumper cables: Make sure your cables measure at least 15 feet long so they can reach both cars. Watch this video to learn how to use the cables before you get stuck in an emergency. You might not always have an internet connection or service to view the video later.
- First aid kit: Include all the basics, like bandages and gauze, plus pack extra doses of medication you take daily.
- Warm clothes and a blanket: This will help you stay toasty if you get stuck in a blizzard or ice storm. Along with a full set of clothing, you should also include a hat, scarf, mittens and extra socks.
- Flashlight and batteries: A powerful flashlight can help you navigate dark roads at night to seek help. Swap out the batteries once a year and always have an extra set, just in case.
- Bottled water: Store at least six bottles of water in your kit to prepare for longer strandings and breakdowns.
- Ice scraper, snow brush and shovel: Have the gear to clear snow from your vehicle when you are ready to move again.
- Car charger: You may need to call for help or entertain yourself if you get stuck, so keep an extra charger in the car to keep your cell phone battery full. If your car dies, having a portable charger is also a great idea!
- Food with a long shelf life: Packs of crackers, peanut butter and protein bars will sustain your energy levels if you need to wait a long time for help.
- Chemical hand and foot warmers: Cold extremities can make a long wait even more uncomfortable. You can pick up a few packs at your local convenience store.
- Small bag of kitty litter or salt: Pour either option beneath your tires to gain traction on a slippery road.
- Anything else you may need: The car emergency kit possibilities are endless based on your individual circumstances. The more you have in your kit, the better prepared you will be for any situation.
Don't get stranded in the cold this winter. Download our winter vehicle emergency checklist to create your own kit.