10 Easy Tips for Making an Emergency Kit for the Car

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An emergency kit for the car is essential, whether you’re a new car owner or have owned many cars before. This often overlooked tool can be worth its weight in gold during an emergency. 

The ideal emergency kit for your car better prepares you for unforeseen situations while on the road. These situations include unpredictable weather, accidents, breakdowns, and delays. The right gear can save you stress and help you feel more confident in any situation. 

What Are Some Possible Car Emergency Scenarios?

Many possible roadside scenarios could result in having to reach for your car kit, so preparedness is crucial. Let’s face it: The road can be uncertain sometimes. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have to have your handy tools ready for an urgent situation. 

Even with regular service for your vehicle, unexpected incidents still occur sometimes. This is even more reason to be ready while on the road.

You can build your car kit to contain vital equipment to fix a flat tire or alert other road users with cautionary signage. Adding supplies like water and an energizing bite to eat while waiting for roadside assistance is also a good idea. That extra water in the kit can keep you hydrated even when you’re stuck in traffic on a warm day. 

An emergency kit for the car can:   

  • Provide first aid materials
  • Store items to keep you warm when the weather is too cold outside
  • Store the tools you need for visibility, like the reflectors and signs 
  • Provide the tools for flagging another motorist down for help
  • Keep all your emergency tools and resources in one place
  • Offer temporary repair solutions to get you back on the road as soon as possible

We can’t predict what may happen on the road, but we can prepare ourselves. This list includes some essential elements car emergency kits include and how they may help you.

1. Store Your Emergency Kit for the Car in a Secure Carry Case

Your roadside emergency kit will contain lots of equipment, so you’ll need a bag like this Imprinted Sport Duffel Kit-36 by US Safety Kits. The duffel features spacious side pockets to store flasks or bottled water. Meanwhile, the inner pocket spaces can store your rationed food, flashlight, tow rope, reflectors, extra batteries, and more. The Kit-36 duffel is perfect for packing all you need in an unforeseen situation on the road, and it seals with a secure zip closure.

Another alternative for storage is The Container Store’s clear Weathertight Tote storage box. It features a locktight cover that fits securely with its water and airtight seal, protecting the contents inside. The Weathertight Tote also has easy-to-carry integrated handles. The box is made with polypropylene and is available in various sizes.

Many people keep the kit inside the trunk or another storage compartment inside the vehicle. Whichever place you choose to store it, ensure it’s always easily accessible.

2. Add a Flashlight in Case It’s Dark

Flashlights can light your way on a dark road, making you more visible to others if your vehicle’s lights aren’t working. A quality flashlight like the Fenix E-Star Emergency flashlight features:

  • Up to 100 lumens output light 
  • An internal supercapacitor
  • One rechargeable AA NiMh battery for backup power
  • A beam range distance of 131-ft

3. Include a Phone Charger or Power Bank

Pack an extra cable or phone charger to boost your phone’s battery in the car. One power bank option is the New Sherpa 100 PD power bank, which is handy if you can’t rely on power from the vehicle.

This power bank can charge: 

  • Phones
  • Tablets
  • Laptops

The power bank allows fast charging and features a 60W input and 100W output. The extra power can make it easier to contact help if you’re stranded for a long time or if there are weather-related disruptions to communications systems and you can’t use your phone until they’re repaired.

4. Have a First Aid Kit in Case of Injuries

An emergency first aid kit for your car can help you render assistance to yourself or others out on the road. It will allow you to tend to minor injuries quickly and effectively while you call for help. 

This Vehicle First Aid Kit by Survival includes:

  • Gauze to wrap up a wound
  • Antiseptic to clean wounds
  • Adhesive tape for scrapes and bruises 
  • Safety pins
  • Wound dressings

Along with the tools and other items that comprise your emergency kit for the car, this first aid kit gives you more confidence to safely handle whatever happens out on the road. 

5. Pack Jumper Cables to Boost Dead Batteries

Jumper cables are vital, especially when the car’s battery needs a boost. They provide the electricity required to jump the car back into action. The motorist assisting you may not have a set in their vehicle, so it’s important to carry one in your own emergency kit for the car. 

One option is these heavy duty jumper cables from Spartan Power. They come in lengths of 10, 15, and 20 ft. And the clamps have copper in both sides of the jaw, meaning they provide power to the battery more efficiently than other kinds of jumper cables.

Add a battery booster or jumper kit to your emergency kit for the car

A battery booster is a good alternative to jumper cables because you can boost the battery yourself. You’ll have to keep the pack charged, but most, like this NoCo 2,000 Amp UltraSafe Lithium Jump Starter have long-life lithium-ion batteries that hold charge for a long time. 

The device works like a power bank without relying on another car’s battery to jump your vehicle via cables. Instead, the battery booster discharges the power stored in its own battery to crank up your engine. 

6. Use a Towing Cable To Pull Your Car to Safety

Just as jumper cables are crucial as an emergency tool in your car, so are tow cables. An emergency towing cable will allow another motorist to attach your vehicle to theirs via the rope. This technique helps quickly transport your car to your destination or repair shop.

7. Have a Multi-Tool on Hand

Be prepared for an emergency fix and invest in a multi-tool like the Leatherman Wave+. Whether you’re going on a road trip or just venturing outdoors, multi-tools are useful thanks to their versatile structure.  

You can use the knife to open canned food in your kit. Or, use the wire cutter to strip wires if you need to reconnect them with a clean fit. Meanwhile, the scissor on a multitool is also handy for cutting bandages or other materials.

The Leatherman Wave+ is comprised of 18 tools and has features that allow you to: 

  • Use some of the tools while the device is closed and others while open
  • Perform one-handed tasks
  • Safely store the multi-tool inside the nylon sheath provided

Multitools are also handy as they eliminate having to pack individual pliers, screwdrivers, and cutters. Instead, the all-in-one solution is all you need within your car emergency kit.

8. Include an Ice Scraper for Winter Conditions

It’s important to note that the tools packed in your emergency kit for the car also depend on where you live and the climate of that region.

Areas prone to cold, snowy winter seasons should always have an ice scraper in the kit. When a vehicle stands too long outside in snowy conditions without power running, it can cause the windows to frost up. This is why ice scrapers are essential for removing ice and frost on the windows.

You can go with a traditional ice scraper, but the Scraper Cone ice scrapers improve upon the traditional design with an ergonomic shape that’s easier to hold with a larger circumference than most other ice scrapers.

9. Keep Hydrated & Well Fed

Hydration is vital for any and every day. Having some water handy is great if you’ve found yourself stranded alongside the road for any reason.

Consider packing two or three water bottles into your emergency car kit for yourself and a passenger. This way, you can have something to drink while waiting for help. Uncharted Supply Co has water bottle options in stainless steel and Nalgene, and in various sizes to fit your emergency kit perfectly.

Add Energy Bars & Food Rations to Your Emergency Kit

Sometimes, getting help can take longer than you’ve expected. Packing extra food rations into the car emergency kit is a good idea. Non-perishable snacks will help get sugar levels up when you need it most.

It helps to periodically check the sell-by or expiration dates on the food items stored away. Some food rations can last several years before they expire.

10. Pack an Additional Blanket or Sweater

If your vehicle is stuck for a long time, there’s no guarantee that the weather will remain the same. Packing at least one emergency blanket or extra sweaters will keep you and your passengers warm. The Kemp USA Mylar Foil Emergency Thermal Blanket is lightweight and can double as a shelter if needed. 

Another way to stay warm while you’re waiting for assistance is with tea light candles. One method is to place a lighted candle inside a metal can on the console.

It’s worth mentioning that you shouldn’t leave open candles unattended. Only burn your tea light for warmth while you’re awake and actively waiting for conditions to improve. 

Easily Compile Your Emergency Kit for the Car Today

New vehicles often have a small kit included in the sale of the car. If you already have some kit components, you can add more items over time and gradually build a comprehensive emergency kit for the car.

Road safety is paramount whether you’re traveling solo or with passengers. Now that you have all these tips, it’s time to create your emergency kit for the car and take safe driving to the next level.