By the Numbers

Do I Need an Emergency Car Kit?

No one likes to think about having their car break down while they are on the road. But things happen – you can get a flat tire, your engine can overheat or your brakes can give out - and suddenly you find yourself in an emergency situation. Being prepared with an emergency car kit can help you handle anything that comes your way.


Emergency essentials matter.


Having an emergency road kit can mean the difference between sitting on the side of the highway waiting for a tow truck or being able to make the fix yourself and get back on the road.


House the items of your emergency road kit in a cardboard box or large plastic container (such as a milk crate). Place it in the trunk of your car or in the back of your SUV or truck for easy access during an emergency. 


Move your car off the road before taking emergency measures.

Do not stand near the edge of the highway while checking your vehicle.

Turn on your flashers to signal that you need help.

While waiting for help, stay inside your car with the windows up and the doors locked.

Set out flares if you have them. 

Items for your emergency preparedness kit

Car Care

  • Spare tire
  • Jack
  • Jumper cables
  • Oil
  • Flares or triangle reflectors
  • Antifreeze
  • Brake fluid
  • Extra fuses
  • Wiper blades
  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Flat head screwdriver
  • Vise grips
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Pliers
  • Tire inflator
  • Tire pressure gauge
  • Rags and funnel
  • Tow rope
  • Spray bottle with washer fluid 
  • Ice scraper


  • Granola or energy bars
  • Bottled water


  • First aid kit
  • Blanket
  • Rain poncho
  • Compass
  • Flashlight with fresh batteries
  • Map
  • Duct tape
  • Pocketknife
  • Phone charger
  • AAA or roadside emergency card


  • Work gloves or latex gloves
  • Paper towels
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Disinfecting wipes
  • Toilet paper

If you live in a snowy climate, you should also keep a collapsible shovel and a bag of sand/kitty litter in your car in case you get stuck in snow or ice. 

Print your very own Emergency Supply List for your vehicle:

Download PDF

The content contained in this article is for entertainment and informational purposes only and should not be used in lieu of seeking professional advice from a certified technician or mechanic. We encourage you to consult with a certified technician or mechanic if you have specific questions or concerns relating to any of the topics covered herein. Under no circumstances will we be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on any content.