Car Emergency Kit

I’m a huge fan of preparedness, especially since I had to evacuate my home from a hurricane. I’m not a crazy prepper like you see on TV, but I understand the importance of it. Being prepared can turn a crisis into an inconvenience, and I’d much rather have the latter.
A car emergency kit was one of the first things that I put together when I bought my first car, and it has been very useful. It’s important to be prepared for those little times when you get a flat tire, or your car breaks down…all the way to the big problems like getting stuck in a snow bank for hours and hours.
Here’s what I have in my kit:

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Good Walking Shoes
I’m a flip-flop/sandal kind of girl, but I wouldn’t want to walk miles in them to get help when my car breaks down.
Tire Accessories
I hope you already have your spare tire in your vehicle, but having a tire pressure gauge and a car jack are super important to tire safety. Do you know how to use them? Can you change your own tire? If not then ask for help, watch a YouTube video, and practice! I’ve had to change a flat tire 3 times on the side of the road, and I’m grateful that I knew ahead of time how to do it. NOTE: Please don’t drive on your spare tire long unless it’s a full-sized tire. Those small little spare tires are meant to get you to a repair shop to fix the full-sized tire, not get you to the other end of town or to your road trip destination.
I also have an emergency tire repair kit in case more than one tire goes flat at the same time.
Cat Litter
This one seems pretty strange, but if you live in a cold winter climate then cat litter works wonders to give you traction on icy roads and when you get stuck in snow.  I own a cat so I already have large bags of it. I cleaned out an orange juice container and filled it with the litter.
I always keep a small travel sized hand sanitizer, clapstick, and lotion. I also have a roll of toilet paper (has so many different uses), a small washcloth, feminine hygiene products, and small container of ibuprofen.
This one is pretty important in case you get stranded for any length of time. Especially if you have kids with you! I like to store my water in mason jars because during the summer the plastic water bottles break down it not only tastes bad, but isn’t that great for your health.
Small First Aid Kit
I keep this underneath the driver’s seat so it’s easily accessible.
Jumper Cables
I’m not proud to admit how many times I’ve had a battery die and had to use these, they are definitely the #1 must have car item on my list.


Weather Related Materials
I added a couple of rain ponchos, HotHands Hand Warmers, and a Mylar blanket.
Miscellaneous Items
Small utility tool
• Pen/paper
• Compass/whistle
• Duct tape
• Baking soda- in case something catches on fire. If the fire is large though then RUN!
Road Map– We bought a large on like this one and used it to get from the West coast to the East coast, without a GPS! It’s useful if your phone dies or you don’t have cell service.
• Phone charger/ phone mount
Window Breaker/ Seatbelt Cutter– This one is very important in case you need to get out of your car fast, for example if you are sinking into water or your car is on fire, but your seatbelt locked up and your door wont/can’t open. I keep mine in the center console.
• Flashlight & extra batteries. Be sure to put the extra batteries in their own separate bag though in case they expire and leak everywhere. Here’s an example that I had of that happening:

And that’s it! It may seem like a lot, but it all fit in a 10-gallon container that easily fit in my small car’s trunk. I have used each item multiple times so I’m grateful that I took the time to put one together.



What are your must haves for a car emergency kit?







One thought on “Car Emergency Kit

  1. Wildish Jess

    May 26, 2017 at 2:17am

    I have one of these in my car though I’ve never thought about adding shoes to it. Great idea and totally makes sense!

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    • Author


      May 28, 2017 at 5:38pm

      Yes, walking shoes are very important! I learned that the hard way when I had to walk a while in flip-flops.

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  2. Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen

    May 21, 2017 at 6:53am

    My husband and I are just talking about this — making a car emeergency kit. You’ll never really know when you’ll need one.

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  3. Celerhina Aubrey

    May 21, 2017 at 2:34am

    This is super helpful. I’m all in preparedness too. I’m bookmarking this one so I could make sure I have everything on our car.

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  4. Emily

    May 20, 2017 at 9:32pm

    This is such a smart idea, and something I need to do soon. Everyone needs one in their car.

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  5. Dana Vento

    May 20, 2017 at 7:47am

    You should include a copy of your emergency plan in your emergency car kit. Be sure that you haven’t included any vital or financial information that could be problematic if stolen, since you’re car is more likely to be broken into than your home.

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  6. Katy {ashadeofteal}

    May 20, 2017 at 3:57am

    Car emergency kits are so important. This is a great list of items to put in it, I realized I’m missing a couple items in my kit.

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  7. Coi

    May 20, 2017 at 12:16am

    Helpful tips! I do agree to be prepared at all times in case there would be an emergency. I also do have an emergency bag though I haven’t put some food and water just yet, or maybe I could put some and replace it every 2wks or a month 😉

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  8. Michelle

    May 19, 2017 at 5:22pm

    This is an awesome list. I really need to make an emergency kit for my car. Never know whats going to happen.

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  9. Renata

    May 19, 2017 at 4:13pm

    This is what I call being prepared!!! When I started reading I thought you’d talk about items for a first aid kit, but you actually got me thinking about so much more! Very thoughtful, especially for those like me who enjoy long road trips!

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  10. Ana

    May 19, 2017 at 3:48pm

    You never know when an emergency can strike! I agree that having food and drink and a small first aid is one of many practical backup solutions x

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  11. Akamatra

    May 19, 2017 at 1:43pm

    This is a great idea! I need to get proactive and make one of those kits for our car! Now with the baby I need to do asap!

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  12. katriza

    May 19, 2017 at 1:27pm

    I definitely need to do this! I don’t have a car emergency kit but we need to! Definitely pinning this for later!

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  13. Fatima Torres

    May 19, 2017 at 1:10pm

    Great list of must-have items for car emergencies. I remember back in Driver’s Education, they taught us the importance of having candy in your car. It helps hold you off while you’re stuck somewhere. I can’t seem to do that. I always end up eating all the candy.

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    • Author


      May 19, 2017 at 1:24pm

      I would have a hard time not eating it too! Maybe put the candy in your emergency kit in your trunk? That way it’s not too easily accessible to eat right away.

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  14. Claudia Krusch

    May 19, 2017 at 3:49am

    I need to update my cars emergency kit. I keep a blanket and some snacks and water. Flares are good to have on hand as well.

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  15. Nicole Anderson

    May 19, 2017 at 2:23am

    Wow Shannon. That is one very thoughtful list and quite important when you think about all the things that can (and often do) go wrong. Not living in a place where it snows, you did catch me a bit off guard with the cat litter, so I was interested to read how that would be used. A tip I can bear in mind when visiting people/places where it snows.

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  16. Cynthia Nicoletti

    May 18, 2017 at 10:45pm

    My son is the only one that has this in his car and he is 22. This is very important to have. Great suggestions you made on what to add.

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  17. Esse D

    May 18, 2017 at 9:49pm

    I never really thought about this, but these are all very good suggestions. I’ll put my emergency car kit together soon!

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  18. Cindy Gordon

    May 18, 2017 at 8:31pm

    This list is on point. Good walking shoes is something I learned about the hard way.

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  19. Deanna

    May 18, 2017 at 7:18pm

    This is such a great idea. I am going to pin this so I can put one together later.

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  20. Alicia Taylor

    May 18, 2017 at 6:31pm

    Living in Florida (Hurricane Alley) – and spending several years in Minnesota (Blizzards, anyone?) I’m familiar with being storm-ready. The clay cat litter doesn’t surprise me at all. We don’t have a lot of need for it in Florida (except it’s great to absorb oil if your car has leaked). We use a battery jump charger instead of jumper cables, though. Where we live, you may not run into another car for a long time.

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  21. Corinne & Kirsty

    May 18, 2017 at 5:49pm

    This is a very helpful post with practical tips. I don’t have a car so it is not something i have to worry about but even if i had one, i doubt i would have thought of any of these! xx corinne

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  22. Helene

    May 18, 2017 at 12:15pm

    I had always heard about the cat litter, too. Best to be prepared for any kind of emergency because you just never know.

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  23. Elizabeth Brico

    May 18, 2017 at 5:49am

    These are very practical. I’ve been putting off creating an earthquake preparedness kit since moving back to Seattle and I really shouldn’t because it’s, well, seriously possible.

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  24. Jessica Hughes

    May 17, 2017 at 10:51pm

    I am a big proponent of being prepared as well, and having a car emergency kit is a big one for me. Since I am frequently alone in the car with my two littles I want to be able to handle anything that may come up. I don’t have to deal with the cold weather items as much but having a good pair of walking shoes is a great idea!

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