Car Emergency Kit
First Aid Essentials
A basic first aid kit helps out in a range of emergency situations and includes, among other items:1 • Adhesive bandages • Antiseptic and antibiotic ointment • Pain killers • Wound cleaning supplies
If something happens to your car, these items can help you get out of a bind:2 • A spare tire and jack, if your vehicle doesn’t have them • Jumper cables • Road flares • Ice scraper • Portable cellphone charger • Sand or cat litter
Food and Water
Include nonperishable food and water in your emergency kit to avoid becoming hungry in an already unpleasant situation.3
Note Important Phone Numbers
Keep the phone numbers for your auto insurance provider, a local towing company and your personal emergency contacts in your car.4
Include a Deck of Cards
If you are stranded in your car and not physically hurt, you (or the kids) may get bored, so pack a deck of cards or coloring supplies.
1 How to Pack an Emergency Kit, DMV.org, 2018. 2 Car Safety, Ready.gov, 2018. 3 Food, Ready.gov, 2018. 4 What Should You Keep in the Car?, National Safety Council, 2018.
It’s hard to predict what can happen when you’re out on the road, so it’s smart to be prepared. Keeping a car emergency kit in your vehicle is one step toward protecting you, your passengers and your vehicle. Consider these tips when stocking your emergency auto kit.
Starting with the essentials, a basic first aid kit comes in handy in many situations. You should include adhesive bandages, antiseptic and antibiotic ointment, pain killers and wound cleaning supplies.1 Revisit your kit annually to make sure nothing has expired and dispose of any expired items properly.
Next, stock up on food and water. In case you get stranded, food and water will be essential. Before a longer trip, pack an emergency car kit with nonperishable food – specifically: protein bars, dry cereal and other high-energy products – and bottled water.2 Revisit your kit annually so you can throw away any expired food items and replenish as needed. You should also be sure to keep a blanket in your trunk in case you get stranded at night or in cold weather.
Auto supplies for your car safety kit
Now that you have the basic supplies covered, it’s time to think about your car. Keep a spare tire and jack (if your vehicle doesn’t have them), jumper cables, road flares, an ice scraper, a portable cellphone charger, and sand or cat litter (to add traction for your tires if your vehicle gets stuck in mud or snow).3
Additional safety kit supplies
In case of emergency, knowing who to call can help you get the assistance you need as quickly as possible. Internet access isn’t available everywhere, especially on less-traveled stretches of highway, so keep the phone numbers for your auto insurance provider, a local towing company and your personal emergency contacts in your car.4
Finally, it may seem silly, but if you are stranded in your car and not physically hurt, you might be looking for a way to pass the time. So, consider packing a deck of cards or other form of entertainment to help stave off the cabin fever.1