Roadside Emergency Kits

To be better prepared for roadside emergencies, every prepper should keep some basic supplies in their vehicle. The recommended supplies are divided into two kits: the “Just the Basics” kit (things that everyone should keep in their car), and the “Kitchen Sink” kit (less critical items that might be useful when dangers are more likely, such as when traveling on a long trip).

“Just the Basics” Roadside Emergency Kit

Cell phone with car charger Call for help
Small gas can Retrieve gas
Folding shovel Dig out tires; make a fire pit
Jumper cables or Jumpstart battery
Jump a dead battery
Flashlight with spare batteries and
car adapter
Safely navigate the dark; wave down
Roadside triangle reflectors or flares Warn others of a disabled vehicle,
accident, or roadside hazard
Small tool kit (e.g., screwdrivers,
adjustable wrench, pliers)
Perform basic repairs
First aid kit Assist those with medical needs
Tow strap Free a stuck vehicle; tow a disabled
vehicle a short distance
Notepad and pen Leave notes when you abandon your
vehicle; write down tag numbers of a
drunk driver
ResQme device Cut seat belt if trapped; break out
windows if vehicle becomes
Roll of heavy-duty duct tape Tape broken windows; fix tears; build
shelters; secure enemy’s hands;
countless other uses
Windshield ice scraper Clean snow and ice from window
Spare tire, jack, lug wrench, and
small board to put under jack
Change flat tire
Warm blankets Keep warm when stranded
Pair of comfortable walking shoes
and socks
Walk to safety
Maps and/or GPS unit Navigate to safety
A few bottles of water Stay hydrated
Backpack Use as a grab-and-go bag if forced to leave
the vehicle
Essential personal medicine Enough to get you to safety
Cash Pay for gas, roadside assistance, food, water,
or lodging when credit is unavailable
Heavyweight canvas bag Store your emergency supplies; load and
unload easier

A more thorough roadside emergency kit can be stored in a large duffle bag. Having it in a bag allows you to quickly load or unload it. Ideally, the duffle should have shoulder straps, enabling you to easily carry it should you be forced to abandon your vehicle. Below is a general list of emergency supplies. You should review the list and tailor it to your specific needs and any likely threats for your area.

“Kitchen Sink” Roadside Emergency Kit

Everything from the “Just the
Basics” kit
Takes care of most common needs
Class ABC or BC fire extinguisher Extinguish small car fires
Leather work gloves Protect your hands while changing
tires, digging out car, etc.
Flashlight with spare batteries and
car adapter
Safely navigate the dark; wave down
Warm weather clothing (e.g., hats,
gloves, coat)
Keep warm when stranded or hiking to
Large funnel Fill radiator; add oil; funnel urine into
plastic bag
Gallon-size freezer bags Urinate in bag when stuck in traffic, or
unable to go outdoors
Bulb-style siphon Siphon fuel from a vehicle or gas
Bag of kitty litter Provide traction in mud or snow
Fix-a-Flat tire sealant Quick temporary fix to a flat tire
Tire pump Fill a leaky tire
Tire gauge Check tire pressure
Hand-ratcheted winch (a.k.a., a
Pull your vehicle out of the mud or
Permanent marker and plastic
Leave a weatherproof note on your
Pack of wet wipes Clean up after treating injury, or being
Bungee tie down cords Strap down supplies to roof or truck
Plastic wire ties Secure shelters; tie enemy’s hands;
make repairs
Disposable camera Snap evidence at scene of accident
Oversized Heatsheet reflective
Use as lightweight, portable blanket
Emergency food, such as high
calorie food bars
Eat when stranded, or when needing
Drinking water Drink when stranded, or when unable
to get to water source
Respirator; either low-cost Type
N95 or gas mask
Protect from airborne threats
12-hour Cyalume chemlights Provide night safety
Waterproof matches Start a fire when stranded
TinderQuik (to start a fire even
when wet)
Use as tinder for fire
Parachute cord Make shelter; secure items
Lightweight rain poncho Keep from getting wet; also doubles as
a temporary shelter
Rescue whistle Call for help
Quality fixed or folding-blade knife Used for self defense, cutting supplies,
shaving wood, cleaning animals, etc.
Position locator beacon Signal for rescue from anywhere in the
NukAlert Detect high levels of radiation
Travel toiletries Keep yourself clean during an unexpected
Change of clothes A fresh set of clothes can help to feel

Most retail roadside emergency kits are grossly inadequate. It is much better to assemble your own kit with quality, hand-picked supplies that will adequately meet your needs. One last thing… don’t forget to keep a little cash in your car. It could come in handy if you have to bug out in a hurry or if you break down and need to pay someone to help you.

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