Car Emergency Kit

by Kelsey Norwood

in Family

Before leaving on our road trip earlier this month, we decided it would be a good idea to put together a little emergency kit for the car. Here’s what we came up with:

car emergency kit


  • scissors
  • pen
  • paper
  • crayons

First Aid

  • ACE bandage
  • gauze
  • athletic tape and prewrap
  • kleenex
  • allergy medicine
  • sunscreen
  • bandaids
  • Tylenol
  • infant Tylenol
  • Neosporin
  • contact solution
  • Hydrocortisone cream


  • mirror
  • wrenches
  • screwdriver
  • flashlights
  • matches
  • poncho
  • emergency blanket


  • water
  • granola bars

We fit all this stuff in a Rubbermaid toolbox and it will just stay in the car indefinitely. I felt much more peace of mind traveling that long distance with 2 kids knowing that if we were stranded, we would have at least some supplies, a little bit of food, and water. Better safe than sorry!

What do you put in your car emergency kit???

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Michelle August 27, 2009 at 10:14 am

I’ve found that tweezers come in quite handy for the first aid kit, and some of that antiseptic spray, too.

And a package of wet wipes always comes in handy!

2 Sarah August 27, 2009 at 12:24 pm

I heard that you should have a disposable camera – that way if you get in an accident you can have photos for the insurance.

Funny things in my emergency kit: sterile gloves, (and normal hospital gloves), and cord clamps. Because you know, if a woman is having her baby on the side of the road – I will be there!

3 Amanda August 27, 2009 at 4:20 pm

Where I live, crayons wouldn’t be a good idea, because they would melt.

Also, after watching my niece, uh, lose her lunch in the back of my car twice, I would recommend a change of clothes for your baby, paper towels, and a grocery sack. Just in case.

4 Rebecca August 27, 2009 at 5:09 pm

You might want to check on things if you leave them in the far for a long period of time. The crayons might melt, and the granola bars will go bad after a little while in warm temperatures. I am perhaps more concerned with hydration since we have most of a 24 pack of water bottles in the trunk. It saves us from buying drinks while on the road, plus in the summer, it just makes me feel better knowing we won’t get heat stroke. I will probably switch to a mostly filled 2 liter bottle instead. I have had drinks freeze and explode in my car and trunk. Then again, my husband had a can of soda explode in the car the other day when he was at work. Temperature is a funny thing.

My mother used to keep a pair of pantyhose in the trunk. I am not sure if it was just for her to wear, but I know my father used a pair as a temporary belt for the car fan once, and they make a good sling or tourniquet. Though, I think it was mostly so she would have a pair if she needed to be all proper.

5 Julie B August 28, 2009 at 7:12 am

Great input from everyone. I’m going to make one for my car as well.

6 Baba August 28, 2009 at 10:25 am

Your kits sound great. You may want to add needle and thread, safety pins and tweezers to that kit. Thanks for the post!

7 Megan R August 31, 2009 at 9:07 am

I am always worried that my ghetto car will break down. This is such a great idea, particularly with a child who probably wouldn’t be so understanding in the heat.

8 Jessica August 31, 2009 at 9:48 am

my emer. kit has a size five diaper (so it will fit the baby in a jam and the preschool in a bathroom emergancy), baby wipes, water, blanket, and tylonel.

9 Sue D August 31, 2009 at 11:28 am

We only pack a lot of emergency items on big trips. We do always have a basic first aid kit and water in the car. We add medications and tools when needed. I’m always afraid the car will get too hot and ruin certain items.

10 Sharla August 31, 2009 at 3:31 pm

This really is such a good idea! I have a friend who is very into preparedness and we compared car kits and I was sadly lacking. We have a backpack with first aid/flashlights stuff like that but I need to put in some things to entertain the kids and to eat and drink.
Well, I do have survival bread in there that supposedly never goes bad that you make. Only problem is we’d need to use the crowbar to break it apart to eat.
Then again, it’s there though….

11 Mindy Bird August 31, 2009 at 8:50 pm

The food/water is a good idea… But is there something that could keep in very hot weather? (It gets to 115 around here…) I think the granola bars would be bad in a week or two if they stayed in a hot car. Would there be a way to keep a compartment cool?

12 Sandy L September 28, 2009 at 9:35 am

I have water, solar blankets, a spare blanket, space-type sealed food packets, 2 emergency medical kits, extra bandages (I saw a car wreck once, and gosh – they really needed bandages), a flashlight and extra batteries, a crank up radio/flashlight thing, a car emergency kit with flares and road signs, some nuts and dried fruits, granola bars, a bottle of handwash stuff and some Poise pads or something like that.

13 Kimberly January 19, 2010 at 7:47 pm

I didn’t get to read all of the responses so I’m not sure if someone mentioned this; I do carry most of the stuff mentioned above, but one thing I haven’t noticed on a list(I don’t know the technical name for it!) is a small “hammer” that breaks glass/windshields in the event your car gets submerged under water. I’ve seen them on QVC and I’m sure most auto stores would carry them.
I think these are great items to have in every vehicle. Although it may be a slim chance this would happen, it has been shown that a windshield/glass WILL NOT break underwater unless you have the right tool. It’s small and could be put in the glove box or console. I’ve seen in on a t.v. show that demonstrated the tool. It’s amazing and could very well save someone’s life.

14 Kim T. June 6, 2012 at 6:57 am

I love your ideas, and I have an observation to share. When bottled water is kept in hot conditions (like inside a parked car), the heat causes some of the chemicals from the plastic to leach into the water. I don’t know about you, but I find this disgusting and potentially dangerous. Anytime I keep water in the car for an extended period of time, I use glass or metal containers. I hope you find this information useful! :) Also, I keep medications in my purse. The heat from the car affects medications, too. Medications have their recommended storage temperatures on the label, generally. Ibuprofen would be a great addition to the kit because of its anti-inflammatory properties. :)

15 Kelsey June 6, 2012 at 7:52 pm

I ought to update this post – I purchased some little cartons of water for the car and feel a little better about them. Hot conditions are tough to work with…

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