If you own a car, you need a car emergency kit. It should have all the things you need to take care of both yourself and your vehicle in case of a breakdown, flat, accident or even a natural disaster like a snowstorm.
While roadside emergency kits can be expensive, you can save money by piecing one together yourself. Here are 20 items you’ll need to survive your next big emergency.
The Body Source 90-Piece Premium First-Aid Kit
When you’re preparing for the worst, you need two simple things: an emergency fund for unexpected costs and a first-aid kit. Super-strong medical scissors, a foil blanket and two instant ice packs are just some of the 90 essential items contained in this emergency roadside kit. The outer bag is durable and rugged, so your supplies won’t get crushed by other items in the trunk. Additionally, the bag comes with extra space and empty compartments, so you can organize your supplies the way you like.
mAuto Emergency Warning Triangle 3-Pack
The last thing you want is to be stranded on the roadside at night, when other drivers can’t see you. Make yourself visible to oncoming traffic with these bright, impossible-to-miss reflective road triangles. They don’t require any batteries or tools, and they fold up neatly for easy storage.
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Tekton Digital Tire Gauge
Check your tire pressure fast — even at night or in inclement weather — with this light-up digital gauge. Thanks to the device’s 30-second automatic shut-off, you don’t have to worry about battery life. Just push the nozzle to the valve for an accurate, easy-to-read digital measurement.
Fix-a-Flat Eco-Friendly Tire Inflator
Avoid being stranded in the middle of nowhere just because you got a flat tire. The original Fix-a-Flat patches holes up to 1/4 inch in diameter. You won’t need any tools or even a jack to get rolling again.
Cartman 12-Foot Jumper Cables
Most drivers only check their car batteries when they’re preparing for cold weather — if at all. But you can be prepared year round with one simple purchase: these jumper cables. They have the strength and length to get you up and running, and the twice-grip design ensures better tension and connectivity. As a bonus, the heavy-duty cables can stand up to extreme temperatures swings when they’re not in use.
2-in-1 Car Flashlight and Window Breaker
This bright, compact flashlight doubles as an escape tool in an emergency. The rechargeable LED lamp is made of aluminum, except for the hardened steel end, which is designed for window smashing. This tool is perfect for any time you need to get out of your car fast.
Performance Tool Mechanic’s Gloves
Breathable and comfortable, these pro gloves protect your hands during a range of emergency repairs. The palms are coated with polyurethane for extra grip when handling tools in tight spaces. Plus, both the thumb and saddle are reinforced with extra material.
25 Mechanic Shop Towels
From cleaning up spills to opening hot valves, there are numerous uses for these heavy-duty rags. Plus, mechanic towels are tough enough to handle grease and oil and large enough to soak up big spills with ease. In fact, they’re specially designed to absorb more liquid with less wringing.
Duck Brand Duct Tape
Few car emergency kit items are capable of fixing things as efficiently as duct tape. A leader in its field, Duck-brand tape tears easily with no curling. It also contours to uneven surfaces and is more durable than traditional duct tape.
Emergency Rain Ponchos
Getting stranded in your car is bad. Getting stranded in your car in the rain is even worse. Whether you have to change a flat in a downpour or walk to find help during a storm, you’ll stay dry with these disposable ponchos. Each one is individually wrapped, so you can use it without ruining the rest of the pack.
Freeze-Dried Emergency Snacks
Any emergency can be made worse without food. Be prepared like a true zombie survivalist by packing your own rations. Designed for long-term storage, freeze-dried fruit are packed in high-quality, airtight bags. Stick them in the glove box and forget about them — they might even outlive your car.
Vertex Essentials Emergency Blanket, 6-Pack
As a motorist, it’s important to prepare for being stranded — or simply being too tired to drive — in harsh conditions. These emergency blankets are big enough to keep you and your passengers warm during an unexpected chill. Made of aluminized mylar, the light-but-effective coverings reflect up to 90 percent of your body heat back.
Stanley 12-in-1 Multi-Tool
Ideal for a broad array of emergencies, this multi-tool contains screwdrivers, pliers, blades and more. And it’s made from high-grade stainless steel, so you know it’s built to last.
40 Pounds of AmazonBasics Cat Litter
Believe it or not, cat litter comes in handy in a variety of situations involving your vehicle. Put some in socks to prevent your windows from fogging up or use litter for traction when you’re stuck in snow or ice. The AmazonBasics brand is made of natural clay and is odor free.
Hopkins Snow and Ice Scraper
One of the most basic car emergency items is also one of the most useful. This high-quality scraper doubles as a brush. At 26 inches long, it has enough reach even for short people with big cars.
Meanhoo Survival Gear Paracord Bracelet
Toss this bracelet in your glove box and pull it out any time you need to tie something down. Not only is it a great survival item to keep in your car, it’s also a great pickup for your zombie apocalypse kit. It is made of heavy-duty, 550-pound break strength climbing cord. The tool also comes with a compass for manual navigation.
These days, most people rely on GPS to reach unfamiliar destinations. But that can be a big mistake. If your cellphone breaks or the battery dies, you’ll need to find your own way home. For best results, keep a physical map of your state in the glove box. This one comes with a simple-to-use legend.
Mobi Lock Car Note Pad
The ability to jot down notes or directions could make all the difference in an emergency. Designed specifically for the car, this pad-and-pencil accessory comes with a suction cup to attach to your dash. And it’s strong enough to stay fixed in place, even on bumpy roads.
Bestek 75 Watt Power Inverter
Harness the power of your car’s cigarette lighter for AC power. You can use the device to power phones, laptops and even items fitted with three-pronged cords. The swivel head also comes with USB outlets, and no additional wires or adapters are needed.
Hand Crank Solar-Powered AM/FM Radio
Even if your car’s radio isn’t working, you can get vital information in an emergency with this AM/FM radio. You don’t need to worry about power. Just crank the handle — or use the solar-generating feature — to create your own electricity. Additionally, the device comes with an earphone jack and analog tuner.