Build a Car Survival Kit

Spread the love

This post is by Bernie Carr,

Since many city dwellers spend a lot of time in their cars, it makes sense to keep a well stocked emergency kit.  When you build a car survival kit, you may find that you already have many of these items around your house.  The rest are easy to find – just fill in what you’re missing.

Basic car kit

  • Fix-a-Flat” or some kind of tire sealant – this has helped me on a couple of occasions.  Replace it as soon as you use one.
  • roadside flares, reflexive tape or safety triangles
  • Jumper cables
  • Flashlight with extra batteries, light sticks

First aid kit

You can either buy a pre-assembled one or build one yourself.  Make sure you include pain relievers, allergy medicine, antacids, adhesive tape, antibacterial wipes, antiseptic cream, and other medications your family uses.


Keep nonperishable food such as protein bars, granola bars or high calorie emergency food bars.  You will need to rotate your food stash – if you leave them in the car too long, they will deteriorate, especially in the summer.


Bring enough bottled water for the family.  Just remember to keep rotating the water bottles.

Cold weather supplies

You’ll need emergency blankets, hand warmers, windshield ice scraper, snow shovel, rock salt or cat litter to give you traction, and tire chains.

Other helpful items

  • Multi-tool or Swiss Army knife
  • Flashlight
  • Whistle
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Gloves
  • Rags
  • Trash bags
  • Tow strap or tow rope
  • Paracord
  • Duct tape
  • Battery operated or hand-crank radio
  • portable stove
  • Matches and lighters
  • Seat-belt cutter/window breaker escape tool

Make sure you keep a small amount of cash in assorted denominations for emergencies and change for toll roads

For unexpected rain, keep an umbrella and rain ponchos.

I keep paper maps and a compass in case I’m unable to access GPS.

If you have an old cell phone, it may come in handy for emergencies as it can still be used to call 911, as long as it’s charged.

If you have kids, set aside extra clothes and socks, diapers, baby wipes, and small toys.

While you’re at it, check to make sure the owner’s manual, spare tire, and jack are still in the car.  These items are often taken for granted as most people assume they are in the car somewhere, until one day you need them and find out they have been misplaced.  Don’t take any chances – get that car survival kit assembled now.  Hopefully, you’ll never need it, but if you ever get stuck, you’ll be glad you have it.

If you found this article interesting or helpful, please consider helping us out (without costing you anything)! We are an affiliate of, which means we received a small commission if you click through one of our Amazon links when you shop, at totally no cost to you. This helps keep the lights on at the blog. Thanks!

About the author

Bernie Carr is the founder of Apartment Prepper. She has written several books including the best-selling Prepper’s Pocket Guide, Jake and Miller’s Big Adventure, The Penny-Pinching Prepper and How to Prepare for Most Emergencies on a $50 a Month Budget. Bernie’s latest e-book, FRUGAL DIY has just been released on Amazon. Her work appears in sites such as the Allstate Blog and, as well as print magazines such as Backwoods Survival Guide and Prepper Survival Guide. She has been featured in national publications such as Fox Business and Popular Mechanics. Learn more about Bernie here.






Photo by Katt Yukawa on Unsplash

Spread the love


  1. Just an FYI…

    Some cars have a first aid kit in the car from the manufacturer, such as my Audi S8. Be aware that although convenient, these kits do not contain medications such as aspirin. Take care to add to them as needed and more importantly, keep the contents current. Don’t assume….CHECK!

    1. Hi BobS, Thanks for pointing that out. It’s nice that some cars come with a kit, but it’s wise to check what’s included.

  2. Excellent article. Really good. I live in snow country and one addition I’d make to the list of winter-time carry-along items is a pair of boots or old work shoes. If you go in the ditch and have to do some shoveling (or walking), some boots and wool socks will be priceless. Ask me how I know . . .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *