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The JUST in Case "Emergency" Car Kit - Be prepared for everything!

Updated on August 13, 2012
Some of the items in our Just in Case Kit.
Some of the items in our Just in Case Kit.

What to always have on hand in your car

When we think of supplying our cars with items needed in an emergency, we immediate think of things like jumper cables, flashlights, and battery operated radios. While those are great in real emergencies, there are additional items you may want to keep in your car for those "just in case" moments. Trust me, if you get caught in a pinch while in your car, you may thank yourself for having something in this kit to save the day.

Here is my all-inclusive list of convenient, practical items that you should consider putting in YOUR JUSTinCASE Kit:

  • Toll/parking/emergency money – At least $5 of one dollar bills and change. You never want to be caught at a toll booth hoping to find random quarters that may have fallen in between the seats.
  • List of phone numbers. If don't have your cell phone, it breaks or dies, do you know your neighbor's, children's schools, spouse's work numbers by heart?
  • Extra house key.
  • Cell phone charger.
  • Tissues.
  • Lip balm.
  • Nail clippers.
  • Safety pins.
  • Pen.
  • Sunscreen.
  • Tide pen/Shout wipes.
  • Hand sanitizer.
  • Gum.
  • For women: Hair bands. Tampons.
  • Water.
  • Snacks (quick, compact, and long-lasting ones like a few granola bars).
  • Plastic bag.
  • Napkins/Paper towels or wipes.
  • Plastic serving ware and straw. No one wants to turn around and drive back through a drive thru if they are forgotten.
  • Pocket knife.
  • Bungee cords and zip ties. You never know - these have strangely come in handy a few times.
  • First Aid Kit (Including things that aren't normally in pre-packaged kits: cough drops, hydrocortisone, antibiotic ointment, chemically activated ice pack, ace bandage, tylenol, allergy meds., travel size pepto bismol)
  • Matches/lighter.
  • Reusable shopping bag.
  • Umbrella.
  • Blanket. Not only in case of a break down in cold weather, but we use ours to sit on for spontaneous park or beach outings.
  • Small flash light.
  • Items to consider if you have babies/young kids: A couple extra diapers, wipes, a pacifier, diaper ointment, juice boxes, crayons and paper (for long restaurant waits and doctor's offices!), a book or two, small toys (matchbox cars, barbie).

**For a container - use whatever makes sense. We keep our umbrella and blanket separate and in the back. The rest of the items are separated into two areas. For the items that need to be more accessible while driving, we keep in the glove box or center console (money, pen, gum, tissues). The rest of the items go in a small black canvas box with a zippered lid. You could use many household containers. For the smaller more accessible items - a cosmetic bag works great. A ziploc would work too! For the other, bigger items, try a plastic shoe box, tupperware - whatever will fit all the items!

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