15 Things To Keep In Your Car In Case of Emergency

Having car trouble is the absolute worst. It’s no fun to be stuck on the side of the road waiting for help. But what happens if you’re far away from help and must survive until you’re rescued? These items could help you if you’re stuck in your vehicle for an extended period.

1. First Aid Kit

First Aid Kit
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If you’re stuck on the side of the road or in a car crash in the middle of nowhere, a first-aid kit could be a lifesaver. Disinfecting, bandaging wounds, and setting broken bones can be the key to survival. Be sure to include pain relievers, anti-inflammatories, hand sanitizers, bug spray, and sunscreen. Kits come pre-made and can be easily tucked under a seat, making them one of the easiest resources to keep in your car.

2. Portable Jump Starter

Portable Jump Starter
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A dead battery is a common reason why a car won’t start. Keeping a portable power source in your vehicle allows you to get a quick charge to your battery without needing a second vehicle. You also won’t have to rely on a stranger to help if you’re stranded. While most people are friendly, we’ve all seen the movies where a predator preys on a stranded motorist. Keep a portable charger in your trunk, and you’ll be glad you have it when you need it most.

3. Flashlight and Flares

WOman with flashlight in her hand
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Anything that alerts you to oncoming cars during the night or times of low visibility will keep you safe. Being visible to oncoming traffic can help alert first responders and people willing to offer assistance. Flashlights can save your car’s battery and provide light for roadside car repair.

4. Flat Tire Repair Kit

Flat Tire Repair Kit
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Most newer automobiles come with a flat repair kit, but it’s important to be familiar with it. The kit should include a jack, lug wrench, and spare time. Consider including a condensed air supply to keep your spare tire inflated if you’re far from a service station. Look in the owner’s manual for directions on swapping out a flat tire if you need to learn about the procedure.

5. Tow Straps

Tow Straps
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Tow straps can be vital if you crash into a ditch or get stuck in soft sand or mud. It doesn’t matter what size truck stops to help. You need tow straps to get out of that ditch. Once again, these can be wrapped up in tight spirals and stowed away in your trunk. When you need them, you will be happy that they are there.

6. Fire Extinguisher

Fire Extinguisher in the trunk
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Those who have experienced a car fire know how scary it can be. One of the most dangerous situations is being trapped in your car when the engine or interior catches fire. Having a fire extinguisher handy increases your chances of survival. Car fires also generate an explosion, so if you ever face one, exit the car immediately and get away from the vehicle.

7. Water and Non-Perishable Food

Bottled Water
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You never know how long you might be stranded, or how far away from resources you might be. Keep water and some non-perishable food like dried fruit or beef jerky. It can keep you hydrated and stave off hunger if you’re stuck for multiple hours.

8. Road Maps

Couples with map
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Most smartphones and new cars are equipped with GPS and navigation systems. What happens if you run out of service or the devices break down? That’s when it’s time to break out the road maps and navigate your way to safety like our ancestors used to do. A state map folds to fit in your glove box and could be a vital tool to help you find your way to safety or back home if you find yourself lost and without cell service.

9. Climate-Control Equipment

Portable fan
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Being stranded can leave you vulnerable to extreme weather and temperatures. A portable fan can help keep you cool if your car’s air conditioning goes down. Likewise, gloves, caps, heat pads, and blankets will keep you warm if you need to survive a snowstorm overnight.

10. Empty Gas Can

Empty Gas Can
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Running out of gas is one of the most common ways people get stranded. Keeping a 2-gallon container in your trunk can be the quickest way to get you back on the road. The last thing you want to do is hike to the closest gas station to find out they don’t sell containers. They can also make you the hero if one of your friends finds themselves out of gas and needs help.

11. Multi-Tool

Leatherman multi tool
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A small micro-tool with various screwdrivers, blades, saws, tweezers, scissors, and a can opener can help you fix small repairs. Most multi-tools also have a window breaker and a seat belt cutter to help you escape if you’re trapped in your car.

12. Duct Tape

Duct Tape
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Duct tape should be a staple in every emergency kit. It’s a fix for filing in leaks, patching clothing, and keeping items like glasses, boots, and gloves functional. Throw a $3 roll of duct tape in your car for situations when you need it the most.

13. Back up Chargers

Charger in car
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A backup phone charger can help connect you to first responders and possible saviors. The last thing you need is a dead phone when you need to call for help. You can even keep a pre-charged power block if you can’t pull power from your car.

14. Antifreeze

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A backup gallon of antifreeze can help cool off an overheating car during the summer. You don’t want to sit on the side of the road in a hot car waiting for the tow truck. Make sure you keep that coolant topped off to keep the A/C and engine running cool.

15. Toiletries

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You never know how long you are going to be stranded. If you are on a long road trip, you may need to stay in a hotel room for the night while your car is repaired. Having some simple toiletries could make your stay a little more comfortable. Pack a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, and feminine products to keep you comfortable.

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