Skip to Content

What Should Be In My Vehicle Emergency Kit?

Power - by Bryan Veldboom - updated on 8/11/2021

What should be in my vehicle emergency kit

Emergencies often happen without warning. Whether it's a traffic accident, a stalled engine or a sudden winter storm, you can increase your chances of making it through safely with a little preparation. That's why it's a good idea to always keep a stock of emergency supplies in your car or truck to help you stay prepared for the unexpected. Here are the items you should have in your emergency car kit.

  • A Blanket or Warm Clothing - During the winter months, temperatures can drop to dangerous levels. Keeping a blanket or set of warm clothing in your vehicle will help you stay warm if your car stalls out.
  • Spare Tire, Lug Wrench & Jack - Be sure to have a spare tire available in case one of your originals goes flat, as well as a lug wrench and jack to help you change it.
  • First Aid Kit - Keep a box in your car with basic first items. You can assemble one on your own using these suggestions  , or buy a pre-made kit   from the American Red Cross
  • Non-Perishable Food & Water - If you're going on a road trip or frequently drive through remote areas, it's a good idea to have extra food and water with you in case you get stranded. Pack shelf-stable items such as beef jerky, nuts or dried fruit, together with a bottle or canteen of water.
  • Booster Cables or a Jump Starter - Keep a set of booster cables in your trunk in case your battery goes dead. A jump starter is an even better option, allowing you to jump-start your engine without the use of a second vehicle.
  • Power Bank - A portable charger will allow you to keep your phone powered up, so that you can contact emergency services if your engine stalls on you.
  • Flashlights & Extra Batteries - You should always carry a flashlight in your vehicle in case you encounter car troubles at night. A flashlight will enable you to change tires, work under your hood and locate emergency supplies you have stashed in your trunk. Be sure to have a supply of backup batteries available too.
  • Windshield Washer Fluid - Visibility is key to driving safely. Be sure that you have spare washer fluid in your vehicle so that you can refill it if you suddenly run out.
  • Snow Shovel & Windshield Brush - If you live in or are traveling to an area that experiences winter, be sure you pack a windshield brush to help keep your windows free of snow, salt and other debris. You should also store a shovel in your vehicle so that you can dig yourself out in case of heavy snowfall.
  • Cat Litter - Cat litter is a great way to provide extra traction if your car gets stuck on ice or wet snow.

Have Your Battery Tested at Batteries Plus

Did you know that Batteries Plus tests vehicle batteries for free? Testing your battery every six months is a great way to prevent battery failure by catching potential issues before they become a problem.

You can also help to avoid battery failure by investing in an AGM battery that's designed to perform in a wider range of temperatures. Shop our selection of auto batteries online, or visit our Automotive Center page. We carry everything from spare auto fuses to replacement brake and headlight bulbs to booster cables, wiper blades and more.

Looking for auto care and maintenance help?

View the Automotive Center