Here's a list of everything you should have in your car emergency kit, with a free printable checklist.
We're preparing our homes for emergencies this week as part of the Create An Emergency Preparedness Kit Challenge. But many of us spend quite a bit of times in our cars as well as in our homes, so it is important to be prepared in your car as well.
So while I've suggested doing this task as part of the emergency preparedness challenge it is also equally applicable to the Car Organization Challenge as well.
The importance of being prepared for emergencies in the car was really brought home for me this past winter when one of my childhood friends got stuck on I-65 overnight in a huge blizzard. The entire highway was actually shut down, and so all around him people literally had no where they could go.
They had to call the National Guard to rescue people, but only after long lines of cars had to sit there, stranded, for approximately 14 or more hours, in the freezing cold.
Those with blankets, some food and water, and other emergency supplies fared much better than those without them. Fortunately, he was prepared (he was an Eagle Scout after all) and the story ended well for him, but it made me realize yep, I need to be more prepared! And so do you!
Obviously you need to do some extra preparations for traveling in the winter, when the chance of getting stuck or stranded is higher, and the stakes higher as well, but cars can break down, you can be in an accident, or get a flat tire at any time, so really you need certain emergency supplies at all times.
That's why I've broken down the list below into sections, with each section building on the previous one. You need certain things at all times, more when taking a longer road trip, and even more when traveling in winter weather.
Also, although these aren't mentioned in the checklist below, please remember that proper car maintenance is one of the best ways you can prevent car emergencies from occurring in the first place.
In addition, I urge you to learn some basics for car emergencies, like how to change a flat tire, and how to safely use jumper cables. You never know when you might need to use this knowledge.
And even if you don't know how to do these things yourself, you still should stock the proper equipment in your car for someone to do it. Perhaps a good Samaritan will help, or when you call a service, such as AAA or On-Star they may need something from your kit to help them help you on the side of the road.
Finally, I know space in your car is at a premium, but really these supplies are very important. Try to choose small amounts of some of this equipment, just so it takes up less space, and place it in your trunk and just keep it there (if you don't currently have room, do the declutter trunk mission and declutter glove box mission to make room!). You may thank yourself later.
Don't forget that periodically, at least once a year, you should replenish and declutter these supplies so everything still works, or hasn't expired or spoiled, if you find you actually need to use some of it out on the road.
Here's the emergency car kit list, with referral links to purchase certain more unusual equipment. (To get the printable scroll down further.)
Click here to get your printable
(opens into new window, as PDF)
If you don't want to put together your own kit, there are also pre-assembled kits available. Here are some here:
Here are several additional articles and printables on the site that you may find helpful:
72 Hour Emergency Supply List
Emergency Contact List
Basic Home Tool Kit List
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