Virginia Auto Service

Are You Ready?…Creating Your Car Emergency Kit

first aid kit
Do you have a first aid or emergency kit in your car in the event there is an emergency? (photo credit:

September is National Preparedness Month which is a great time to think about what you would do if you were faced with an emergency while away from your home.

The goal of National Preparedness Month is get people thinking this way and to inspire them to take action now so that they are ready when they need to be.    And no matter where you live or what you do, there are times when you need to be ready while you are out on the road.

This means you need to create an emergency kit for car you own and that you need to develop the basic skills required to take care of yourself and your family if you are away from home when disaster strikes.    Luckily, creating this kind of emergency kit is easy and it doesn’t have to cost much money.  In fact, most of what you need to include is likely already in your house.

To start, use this list of items that are recommended to be included in car emergency kits by emergency management experts.  Make sure you build one kit for each car and feel free to customize the kits to meet the specific needs of your family.

  1. Jack, Tire Iron, Spare Tire and a Tire Repair Kit –  A flat tire may not seem like an emergency but it can quickly become one if you don’t have the means and the know-how to take care of it.
  2. Jumper Cables and/or a Battery Charger – Make sure you know how to use these tools safely.
  3. Two Sided Screwdriver – A versatile tool with many uses in a crisis.
  4. Hand-crank Flashlight – A must-have item that works even if you don’t have extra batteries or access to sunlight
  5. First Aid Kit – Make sure it includes the basics like Band-Aids, bandages, antiseptic wipes, antibacterial cream, aspirin, and other basic first aid supplies
  6. Hand-crank Weather Radio with Cell Phone Charging Capability – This can be a lifesaver in an emergency as it enables you to get information and to charge cellular phones to call for help.
  7. Duct Tape – There is no limit to the number of emergency problems duct tape can solve.
  8. Pry Bar – You can use this to pry a damaged fender away so it doesn’t damage your tire and for many other emergency uses.
  9. Light Sticks or Flares – Useful to see at night and as emergency locator beacons for rescuers.
  10. Space Blankets – These are also called emergency blankets and they can make a real difference in survival if you are stuck for a long time.
  11. Portable, non-perishable food – Make sure to include high protein snacks like nuts and energy bars to keep you going.
  12. Water – You can only survive for 3 days without water.
  13. Contractor Size Trash Bags – Like duct tape, these have a wide range of uses including shelter building, covering windows, and keeping feet dry.