Assembling an Emergency Preparedness Kit for Your Car

There are plenty of emergency preparedness kits available on the market today, but in putting your own kit together you will be better able to meet your family's specific emergency needs.

Step 1 - Establish Need

Spend a few minutes thinking about who might be needing the kit. Do you travel as a family? Is this a commuter car? Is there more than one driver? Taking a few minutes to establish these specific parameters will go a long way in being prepared for road emergencies.

Step 2 - Determine Space

The goal in being prepared is to have ready access to the supplies you need when you need them. An emergency kit that is hard to get to can be dangerously ineffective. Space can be utilized in the trunk, under a seat, behind the seat or under the floor. Once you know where the kit will go you can plan to pack according to the available space.

Step 3 - Check Basics

Establish what you have in your car as a standard feature. Is your spare tire still usable? Pull it out to check for air pressure and the overall condition. Do you have all the associated tools ( jack and lug wrench) available and stored in their designated space?

Test the emergency lights in your car to make sure the bulbs and fuses are in working condition.

Test the lighter unit, which will be vital if you need to recharge a cell phone.

Step 4 - Add Tools

  • Jumper Cables
  • Flares
  • Flash Light With Fresh and Extra Batteries
  • A Tire Inflating Product or Can Dealant
  • Small Tool Kit
  • Duct Tape
  • Pocket Knife

If you live in a mountainous area be sure to include these seasonal items:

  • Chains
  • Shovel With a Folding Handle
  • Cat Litter or Sand
  • Thermal Blanket (large enough for two)
  • Gloves

Step 5 - Prepare Medical Kit

An emergency preparedness kit must include a good quality First Aid Case. Rather than piece mealing a kit, these can be purchased at a local auto supply store. In addition to what is already in the kit, you may want to include emergency numbers for doctors, family members and other important connections. Tape these numbers securely to the inside cover of the kit. If someone in your family has a specific need or medical condition such as diabetes or asthma, be sure to include this information also. If there is room to add extra insulin or other sustaining medications, now would be the time to do so.

Step 6 - Gather Provisions

Today's food preservation methods makes it convenient to carry life support food for long periods of time without needing refrigeration. Pack into your emergency preparedness kit:

  • High Energy Protein bars
  • Dehydrated Fruits
  • Canned Nuts
  • Fresh Water or Some Sort of Portable Water Purifying System

Step 7 - Additional Items

Not every situation on the road qualifies as a full scale emergency, but the following items will be good to have on board regardless of the degree of need or crises:

  • Cell Phone Charger
  • Toilet Paper
  • Safety Matches
  • Coins For Land Line Calling
  • Change of Clothing
  • Pen and Paper
  • Bright Scarf or Flag