Emergency Car Kit

Emergency Car KitThe recent freak weather events across the country are a striking reminder that everyone should keep an emergency kit in their vehicle, at all times. Unexpected weather events, engine trouble, flat tires, and accidents are among the many reasons you could be stranded and help may not be readily available. An emergency car kit can help you get out of these situations, and when that’s not possible, keep you safe and comfortable while you wait for help.

Basic Emergency Car Kit Contents

Whether you purchase a kit, or compile your own, your basic emergency car kit should contain items to sustain yourself, safety items, and some basic repair items.

  • Drinking water
  • Sports drink or electrolyte drink such as Pedialyte
  • Food such as protein bars, energy bars, jerky, canned tuna, nuts, peanut butter & crackers, trail mix, dried fruit
  • First aid kit
  • Jumper cables
  • Flashlight with fresh batteries
  • Tool kit
  • Flares
  • Fuses
  • Tire pressure gauge
  • Jack and tire iron
  • Car air compressor/tire inflator
  • Patch kit or “fix a flat”
  • Tape
  • Water for your radiator
  • Gasoline siphon
  • Blanket
  • Glow sticks
  • Hand wipes or sanitizer
  • Toilet paper or tissues
  • Rags or paper towels
  • Pen and paper, to leave a note if you leave your vehicle
  • Matches

Be Prepared for Cold Weather All Year

You need to be prepared for cold weather year round, not just in winter, when travelling to high altitude and desert areas.

In the high country the weather can turn suddenly. Severe snow snows can hit, dumping several feet of wet, heavy snow in late spring and early and late summer, even on days that start out warm and clear. In midsummer, even without snow, the weather can turn very cold when you least expect it, and sudden rain or hail are not unusual.

When travelling in the desert, most people plan for extreme heat, but what you may not realize is that the temperatures can drop drastically at night. While you may not intend to be there after dark, if your car breaks down or overheats during the day, you may be stranded overnight.

Your “winter” weather emergency kit supplements should include:

  • Gloves
  • Hat
  • Hand warmers
  • Folding shovel, for digging out of snow
  • Kitty litter, for traction on snow and ice
  • Tire chains
  • Windshield scraper
  • Hatchet and/or small saw for firewood

Other Considerations

If you are travelling with infants or small children, be sure to bring extra supplies that will serve their needs, such as diapers, formula, and baby food. Consider keeping items to distract or keep them entertained.

If you require medications take meds with you even if you have taken the dose you need for the amount of time you expect to be out and about, in case you get stranded.