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7 Emergency Car Kits for ANY Situation

car emergency preparation

Life is unpredictable, so being prepared for any situation is the only way to ensure survival in any emergency.

Having an emergency kit is more than a few band aids and a set of jumper cables, it means having anything on hand to make it through a break down, car accident, or trip (short or long). These seven survival essentials are key to making it home alive.

For best results, organize these kits into labeled water-proof containers and organize smaller items using tackle boxes and zippered water-tight bags. With a bit of effort, they can consume very little space in a trunk and make getting to them as easy as pulling out a labeled box with the right items in it.

It’s also a good idea to rotate stock of food and batteries every 6 months, so put it on your calendar to replace batteries, and other consumables (food, first aid items, and car lubrication liquids) every 6 months. Bring the old stock inside and use it up immediately.

First Aid Kit

first-aid-kit-iconA first aid kit is essential for survival, road side emergency or not. Even single people should have one, you never know when you will have an injury or even a paper cut, and need something. So make sure your emergency first aid kit contains these sealed up in packages:

  • Nitrile or latex gloves
  • Gauze pads and rolls
  • Ace bandages and compression wraps
  • Feminine Napkins and Tampons (useful for more than just girl things)
  • Alcohol wipes and handy wipes
  • First aid antibiotic ointment
  • A variety of band aids in at least 5 sizes
  • Resuscitation mask/barrier
  • Hydrogen peroxide and alcohol in bottles
  • Various ointment packs for burns, poison plants, and insect bites
  • Mosquito spray
  • Aloe Vera (for sun burns)
  • Tweezers, scissors, magnifying glass, and safety pins
  • Instant Ice packs and heat packs
  • Baking soda
  • Spare medication including pain medication
  • Epi pen
  • Oral thermometer
  • Thermal blankets
  • First aid chart and booklet (also consider taking a first aid/ CPR course)

Create a second, smaller first aid kit version for your glove box that contains individual packs of these items within easy reach while traveling.

Winter Kit

car-trouble-winterWinter weather comes with its own dangers. Being prepared for snow storms or hurricanes is important in any state and especially during long distance traveling. The following tools should pull you and your passengers through in any freezing situation:

  • Ice scraper
  • Tire chains
  • Lock thaw device
  • Blankets, thermal blankets, spare gloves, and coat
  • Dozen or so sealed Candles in tin candle tins (in case they melt)
  • Small heater that plugs into car lighter
  • Window de-fogger
  • Window-deicer
  • Snow shovel
  • Matches and lighter
  • Fire log

Summer Kit

summer car troubleSummer weather necessitates its own problems when you break down or find yourself stranded. And on road trips, you never know when the mood might strike you to run through a sprinkler or take a quick swim in a cool stream. Be prepared for emergency breakdowns and fun with these items:

  • Wash cloths for cold compresses
  • Plastic cups for water
  • Misting spray bottle to cool off
  • Battery operated fans with new batteries
  • Beach towels
  • Bathing suits
  • Sandals
  • Beach chairs
  • Garbage bag for wet clothing
  • Small cooler for ice and storing these items
  • Life Jackets


Tool Kit

car safety kitA basic tool kit is a must for any vehicle and emergency; from fixing a flat to replacing a fuse, light bulb, battery, or part. You should also consider getting an owners repair manual just in case you are stuck by the side of the road and need to repair something.

  • Screw driver and wrench sets
  • Bolt cutters, pliers, and wire cutters
  • Spare fuses and car bulbs
  • Tire jack and crow bar
  • Spare tire
  • Air compressor for tires
  • Tire patch kit and fix a flat kit
  • Swiss army knife
  • Hammer
  • Wire, twine, and rope
  • Oil, anti-freeze, wiper fluid and power steering fluid
  • Board and kitty litter (for under the jack or traction if tire gets stuck)
  • Window breaking tool
  • Extra phone charger and spare phone
  • Emergency prepaid card, cash, and coins (gas, food, or a tow)
  • CB radio and new batteries
  • Roadside triangle (required by law in most countries)
  • Flares (old fashioned and LED kinds)
  • Fully charged spare car battery
  • Car jumper cables
  • Emergency flags
  • Bungee cords
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Tow strap
  • Can of fluorescent orange spray paint
  • Water proof atlas
  • WD-40
  • Air horn
  • An OBD (On Board Diagnostics) reader
  • Book on how to use them :)

Emergency Kit

emergency food kitIn addition to the above kits, you will need these items for survival in any weather or circumstance. If you are stranded by the side of the road in winters worst storms or in summer due to a dead battery, you will need emergency food, water, and shelter. You will need 5 days’ worth for each person traveling with you of the following items:

  • Distilled water for the car
  • Bottled water in 5-year containers
  • Canned food and opener
  • Dried food like fruit and nuts
  • Survival freeze dried food
  • Jerky (vegan or meat)
  • Protein and breakfast bars
  • Vitamins
  • Tea and coffee
  • Water filter
  • Survival guide
  • Back-packs to carry it in

Hiking Kit

hiking kitJust in case you are on a cross country trip and find yourself needing to hike back to civilization you will need a couple more things in your truck to survive the trip. You will find your odds of surviving much better with the following items stashed in the trunk:

  • Compass
  • Solar Universal Recharger
  • Solar flash light, LED flashlight and lithium batteries
  • Small tent
  • Edible food guide
  • Flare gun
  • Hiking boots
  • Water-proof maps
  • Radio
  • Fully charged emergency cell-phone
  • Cell phone booster
  • Pan and utensils
  • Personal heater, solar powered if possible

Extra Kit

These items may not be pertinent to survival, but they can make it more comfortable and may save you in some emergencies. You may find the following items useful in any situation:

  • Pens and pencils
  • Note pads and sticky notes
  • Puzzle and reading books
  • Travel game kit and playing cards
  • Mp3 player with music
  • Whistle and air horn
  • Chopsticks and Utensils
  • Paper towels, tissues, toilet paper, and napkins
  • Hand sanitizer and Cleansing wipes
  • Tape – duct tape, electrical tape, and masking tape
  • Rain ponchos and umbrellas
  • Tinfoil, Zipper bags, Spices
  • Coffee can
  • Condoms (good for more than just, well you know)
  • Local, region, and country maps
  • Warm gloves, beanie hats, and scarves
  • FULL change of clothes
  • Zip ties
  • Used grocery bags
  • Gardening knee pad or pads

Always use lithium batteries as they last longer and maintain a charge when not used for up to 10 years. Batteries are important for items you use at night and you can save their power by using the solar power source during the day. And don’t forget to carry a copy of your driver’s license, registration, and insurance in a handy place. You might also consider printing it on a few business cards just in case of accident or getting pulled over.

Some of these items will need to be stored in containers under the seats or in the glove box for easy access in some emergencies, while others can easily be stored in the back hatch. If packed properly, they take up very little space and are easy to find.

Be sure to adjust your emergency kits for the area you live in or will be traveling to, for instance, a coffee can fire starter (coffee can with toilet paper and alcohol to be lit for a heat source or flare) makes more sense in Minnesota winter than Texas summer. Be aware of your surroundings, pay attention to others, be self-reliant, and trust no one when stranded treat everyone with an air of extreme caution.


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The Car Wash Genie  blog is designed to educate all customers with information that will promote proper understanding of car detailing procedures & techniques in hopes that they will have a greater awareness of how to maintain and protect their vehicles.

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