Be Prepared: What to Include in a Vehicle Emergency Kit

The interior of the trunk of the car in which there is a first aid kit, fire extinguisher, warning triangle, reflective vest, starter cables and tow rope

Vehicle emergencies can range from getting a flat tire while you’re driving downtown to being stranded in a snowy ravine for days. So, having a well-stocked roadside emergency kit in your vehicle is crucial—you never know when you might experience a breakdown! When creating an emergency kit, it’s a good idea to have a basic one that you keep in your vehicle at all times and a travel kit that you tailor to specific trips.

Items for an Everyday Emergency Kit

Your regular emergency kit should have some basic tools you would need to work on your car:

  • A spare tire (or an inflator kit, if your car doesn’t have a spare)
  • A tire iron and jack
  • Gloves
  • A couple quarts of oil
  • Antifreeze
  • Water
  • Jumper cables or a booster box
  • Flares
  • A flashlight and extra batteries
  • Some basic hand tools (a socket and screwdriver set, several sizes of wrenches)

You should also have some items for your comfort and safety:

  • A first aid kit
  • Drinkable water
  • Some non-perishable high-calorie food, like energy bars
  • Blankets
  • Toilet paper
  • Towel
  • Hat
  • Boots
  • Some emergency cash and/or a credit card

Items for an Emergency Travel Kit

When creating an emergency travel kit for trips away from home, you’ll want to think about the geography and the type of weather you may encounter. Are you traveling to an area with snow? Going to the desert? You would want to bring very different items! Regardless of where you’re traveling, you’ll need:

  • A flashlight
  • A heat source
  • Protection from the elements (think about the type of weather and temperatures you may encounter)
  • Non-perishable food
  • Drinkable water

If you’re traveling with others, make sure you have enough water and food for everyone for at least a couple of days.

In addition to an emergency travel kit, you should always tell someone where you’re going and create a plan for checking in with them at waypoints. That way, if you get into trouble and don’t check in as expected, your contact will be able to alert the authorities to conduct a search and rescue—and they’ll be able to narrow in on a search area.

The Key to Safe Travel

Whether driving through town or across the country, the key to safe travel is keeping your vehicle maintained, planning ahead, and letting others know where you’ll be.

While we can’t help you with planning or checking in with others, we can help you keep your vehicle safe and well-maintained! Keeping up with vehicle maintenance is essential for preventing breakdowns and accidents. Routine maintenance allows us to check over the most critical parts of your vehicle on a regular schedule, so if a part is becoming worn or starting to fail, we can replace it before it becomes a bigger (and more expensive!) issue.

At EuroCar Service, we specialize in all European vehicles, including Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Land Rover, Mini-Cooper, Saab, Volkswagen, Volvo, Jaguar, Smart Car, and Fiat. We offer complete care for your car, from routine and factory maintenance to pre-trip inspections and repairs. Schedule an appointment today at (206) 527-8828 to make sure your vehicle is safe and ready to hit the road!