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Car Emergency Kit: Every Driver Should Have A Survival Kit

Updated on May 9, 2011
courtesy carlemon
courtesy carlemon

Driving can be dangerous. That's why every driver should know what to do right after a car accident, and have on hand a car emergency kit filled with practical tools and basic survival supplies. If you've ever been in a car accident, you know how handy and what a relief having a car emergency kit can be in the midst of great confusion and overwhelming stress.

Even with all the new tracking technology and smartphones availability, emergency car kits are still important to keep in your car, so that when a road crisis like a car accident, car breakdowns, bad weather, medical emergency or other unexpected automobile mishaps occurs, you are ready for it.

Don’t think that you won't need one neither, because cell phones don’t always work and are infamous for dropping their signal in certain areas (dead zone). What's more, GPS batteries tend to drain quickly, and help sometimes takes a long time getting to you.

Therefore, don't get caught out on the road unprepared. Investing in a car emergency kit as a backup to today's technology is just a wise thing to do.

There are of course many good, car emergency kits available on the market, but if you’re anything like me, you'll want a car survival kit with everything in it, and the only way you'll have that is to create it yourself. Below, I put together what I consider to be a fully-stocked, survival, emergency car kit.

To create your own, you’ll need one small and one medium-sized, plastic, storage bin or two cardboard boxes to hold the survival supplies listed for inside of your car and trunk, and a large, resealable plastic bag to hold items intended for your glove compartment.

Gather all the items you need together, then sort and place them into the different containers; keep in mind that you want to keep the items that you think you would need most often at the top of the container. Once you've separated and placed them into their containers, place them into their corresponding areas of the car.

All of your car emergency kit's first aid supplies and survival gear can of course be bought. You can also just buy the items that you don't already have. You may find that if you rummage around your home, you'll see that you have many of the items already. You can also ask friends or family for items that they have that you need, but which they don't use, to complete your car emergency kit.

      place these items inside your Glove Compartment

disposable camera - use to capture the scene. A picture is worth a thousand words.

small sewing kit - very handy for minor incidences.

small, sticky, writing pad & 2 pens - to jot down notes or numbers, or to stick on your information forms as reminder notes.

dryer lint in a small resealable bag - makes a great fire starter. It's also very light; taking up very little room.

hand warmer packets - helps to keep fingers and toes warm.

first aid kits - for minor bumps, scrapes, headaches and other medical emergencies, first aid kits are a must to have.

medical conditions list - if you have special medical conditions, it's best to keep such information in the glove box, easily available to emergency services.

whistle (without little ball inside) - noisemaker to attract attention to you and your location. No ball in the whistle means it will also work when it's wet.

road map & compass - both can assist you in finding your way to wherever you need to go.

spare fuses - to replace any burnt out car fuses

multi-purpose tool (swiss army knife) - use for multiple purposes such as opening cans, cutting things, etc.

2 copies accident info forms - reminder of all your accident information that you need to collect and write down. Carry 2 copies in case you make a mistake on one or need more space to fill in information.

small flashlight - use for light in tight squeeze areas, and as a signal beacon.

emergency food rations - keep some preserved, high calorie food with a long expiry date on hand. Usually they are not very tasty so you may want to consider other food items that are good substitutes like nutrition bars.

lighter chargers - to charge up a dead cellphone or GPS battery (as long as your car battery isn't dead of course)

small pack facial tissues - quick use as toilet paper, hand cleaner, gauze, or just to catch a sneeze.

2 plastic bags - use as a hat when it's raining, to catch rainwater, as cover for your shoes in wet weather, to catch fish, or as a plastic bag.

          place these items on your car's Backseat

first aid kits - for minor bumps, scrapes, headaches and other medical emergencies.

paper towels & toilet paper - these are self-explanatory.

water in plastic bottles - use for hydration or to clean an area. Plastic bottles don't crack / break when frozen.

newspaper - use this as a fire starter, or read the old news to occupy yourself.

batteries - for all the items that need batteries like the flashlight (if it's not a windup).

duct tape - this is the jack of all trades item that's good for almost everything, like taping up the bumper temporarily.

windup radio - useful for monitoring the weather or to keep your mind off of the incident while you wait for help. Windup radios (also called crank radios) do not need batteries. Cranking the attached arm recharges the battery.

nutrition bars - tasty survival food because of its long expiry. You can also buy ration food that has longer expiry time.

empty backpack - if you need to move from the accident or breakdown site of your car, you can store all the necessary survival supplies in the backpack and trek off.

raincoat with hood - to keep the rain off from the head down during wet weather.

tea light candles & waterproof matches - use for light and extra light to have more than one light. Also, buy waterproof matches (instead of regular matches) which can light under trying situations like wind and rain.

sterile hand lotion - antiseptic or alcohol based lotion to sterilize hands or an area.

cedar balls - to keep the survival container fresh smelling and free of many tiny bugs.

garbage bags - use as a raincoat by punching holes for your head and arms, or if not as a raincoat, use to collect any trash you accumulate.

                 place inside your Car Trunk

small toolbox - you never know when having some small tools like pliers or a screwdriver will come in handy.

wool blanket - use to keep warm, as warm bedding, and also as a cover against the elements.

mylar/thermal blanket - lightweight, waterproof, windproof and space-saving blanket that reduces the body's heat loss making great for warmth.

warm clothes & boots - keep some spare warm clothing in case of cold weather. Remember to include hats, scarves, and glove, make sure the clothing is loose and comfortable fitting.

rope or tie downs - used to secure items in place or join items together.

air pump & tire gauge - to inflate flat tires.

reflecting vest - just in case it's nighttime and you have to travel away from the car, with a reflecting vest you'll be seen by oncoming traffic.

emergency flares & signal cones - use as beacons to alert rescuers to your location, and to warn traffic of your situation.

windshield washer fluid - for the days when you run out of wiper fluid.

tire sealant spray - repairs a small hole in the car tire.

large thick candle - use for light, cooking, to add heat in a small space like the car, and for other fire needs.

fire extinguisher - to put out minor fires. Use the typical type A-B-C.

collapsible shovel - in cold and warm weather, sometimes a shovel comes in handy, and a collapsible shovel takes up less space in your car kit.

jumper cables / booster pack - to restart a dead battery. With a fully charged booster pack, you can jump start your car by yourself.

large flashlight - use as a signal and a light source to see large areas (consider getting a windup flashlight, because it doesn't need a battery, it charges by winding its handle.

windshield washer fluid - for the days when you run out of wiper fluid.

snow brush & ice scraper - this is self explanatory.

cedar balls - to keep the survival container fresh smelling and free of many tiny bugs.

medium sized coffed can - useful to put candles in on windy days so they don't blow out, and to heat water or food in if not used for candles.

small bag of salt/sand - useful to pour on icy road patches for traction and as extra weight during winter season.

Now I know you’re thinking to yourself, "wow, that’s an awful lot of things to store in what little space I have in the car," but remember, all the items are split into three different areas inside your car, and most are not very bulky. Additionally, if you get into a situation, you most likely will be grateful to have all the survival items available to you, rather than wishing you had included them in your kit to begin with.

On the other hand, you can always edit-out items according to your area's climate (for example, you won't need to include winter items like an ice scraper or warm clothes if you don't have a cold season).

Play with/adjust your car kit to suit your particular situation, climate, personal preferences, and to fit the space available in your car. Remember to change out the food and water at least once a year.

Finally, consider keeping your car tuned-up on a regular schedule to help avoid those dreaded common automobile troubles, and perhaps buy roadside assistance as an accessory to your emergency car kit to help keep you safe on the road!

____________________________________, my pen is a mighty sword!

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    • profile image


      7 years ago


    • callmefoxxy profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Hiya Chris Eddy111. No worries, I'll give you a lift anytime...

      Hi Peggy W. Come aboard then... say hello to Chris Eddy111... and now we'll hit the road... Ok, everyone, where to?

      callmefoxxy, my pen is a mighty sword!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      9 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I'd go on a roadtrip with you anyday! Sounds like you're prepared for just about anything that might come along. I'd better get busy...many things we should add to our car! Thanks for this good reminder.

    • Chris Eddy111 profile image

      Chris Eddy111 

      9 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Well Sis, I don't have a car but if I did I have it on great authority what I'd need, lol. Thanks.

      Dang Micky Dee, I told you that gurl had spies everywhere. See now I may not get to Kuuba.

    • callmefoxxy profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Hi bloggergirl13. From the feedback, all have said there was a lot of useful information here already, so I'm not sure what "advice" you're looking for. Thanks for stopping by and commenting though.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      great! but don't you think you should put a little more adviced for the people that will use this article and i didn't find it very useful either

    • callmefoxxy profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Hi SEO IT! Thanks, and thanks too for dropping in. Yes there are a lot of items covered in this article. Even Micky Dee was wondering where he was going to sit, lol. I too hope it's quite helpful to others.

      callmefoxxy, my pen is a mighty sword!

    • callmefoxxy profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Hiya Micky Dee... well YOU don't need to be in the car, just your daughter who's driving which leaves lots of room. "wink" teehehe. Yes everyone says they don't need the car kit, until... Hopefully she'll take your advice. Well now I won't take you 'cause grapevine news says you're running away to JA with Chris Eddy111! Hrump! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment... love u 2

      callmefoxxy, my pen is a mighty sword!

    • callmefoxxy profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Thanks Dan. Glad I could add something new to your kit; safe not sorry :)

      callmefoxxy, my pen is a mighty sword!

    • SEO IT! profile image

      Karla Whitmore 

      9 years ago from Tucson, AZ

      Excellent advice! You talk about a LOT of things I would not have thought of and I'm sure this will be helpful to many of your readers.

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 

      9 years ago

      If I had all this stuff- where would I sit? This is great advice. I've always wanted my daughter to carry a coat suitable for the weather if it was cold. She would argue and say that she would be in the car. Well- not if the car breaks down. This is all good advice. You know - I love you -even though you won't take me to Cuba!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Very Informative. I have a few things to add to my emergency kit. Thank you for the info


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