Every car emergency kit should contain a few basics for survival, such as: water, food, shelter, warmth and first aid. A commercially-prepared emergency bag will usually contain three boxes of water, similar to those little juice boxes designed for kids. For food, a 3600-calorie food bar will be included, guaranteed to provide enough nutrition for one person to survive for 72 hours. For shelter and warmth they usually contain a solar blanket or poncho.
You may also choose to create your own emergency car kit. The one thing about creating your own is that you can personalize it to your own needs. Toss in an extra pair of glasses, items for the baby, such as formula, baby food and diapers, or a few doses of that prescription medication that you should not be without.
First Aid Only American Red Cross Personal Emergency Preparedness Kit
To get you started on building a car emergency kit, we've included a list of items. These are only suggestions. Once you get started you are sure to come up with some ideas of items that you consider vital in an emergency.
Car Emergency Preparedness List
- Water - have at least three bottles of water
- Food - energy bars, granola bars, jerky, crackers (avoid anything that melts)
- Blanket - a shiny solar blanket or emergency sleeping bag, even a wool blanket
- First aid kit - bandages, pain reliever, gauze, tape, and alcohol wipes
- Radio - battery-powered (include extra batteries)
- Flashlight - with extra batteries or one of those wind-up radio/flashlight combos
- Jumper or booster cables
- Fire extinguisher
- Shovel, duct tape and multi-purpose tool or knife
To combine your car emergency kit with an accident preparedness kit, include a few items to be used in the event of a motor vehicle accident. Toss in a disposable camera, along with a pad of paper and a pencil. This way you can take photos of the accident, and write down names of witnesses, and an account of exactly what happened. With the addition of these items you will truly be prepared for almost any emergency.