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Preparing an Emergency Kit for Your Car: A Comprehensive Checklist


Emergencies happen when you least expect them. Make sure you’re prepared, come what may. Know what to put in an emergency kit for your car. The following checklist can help you gather items for your kit.

In Case of Breakdown

Lots of little things can go wrong with a vehicle and leave you and your family stranded.

Stock your car with some essentials to get your car running and back on the road:

  • Jumper cables
  • Tire chains
  • Foam tire sealant
  • Fuses
  • Duct tape and electrical tape
  • Screwdrivers, pliers, and wrench
  • Fluids for your car with a funnel (motor oil, brake fluid, power steering fluid, transmission fluid, and antifreeze)

Keep in mind that it’s not enough to just have these items on hand; you should actually know how to use them. If you don’t, you might consider taking a basic car maintenance course at a local collage, or asking a friend or family member to teach you.

Survival Items to Include


You’ll want to be prepared for any type of situation, so consider including the following items for survival and for basic safety precautions:

  • Water
  • Tarp
  • Rope
  • Flares
  • Glow sticks
  • Maps
  • First aid kit
  • Hand shovel
  • Rain ponchos
  • Hand warmers
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Reflective blanket
  • Multi-purpose knife
  • Extra cell phone battery
  • Fire starters, matches, and a lighter
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Sunblock and bug spray
  • Lip balm
  • Whistle
  • Pepper spray
  • Cash

Preparing for Extended Emergencies

Inclement weather or obscure locations can lead to extended periods of being stranded.  You don’t know how long it will be until help comes.

You might want to bring along items for extended emergencies such as:

  • Non-perishable, calorie-dense foods (protein bars, tuna, nuts, canned juice, peanut butter, dried fruit, hard candy, trail mix, jerky)
  • Toilet paper
  • Feminine products
  • Hand wipes
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Sandwich bags and trash bags

Along these same lines, you might want to add a few extra items to your car emergency kit to keep you busy if you’re stranded for a while, particularly if you have children.

Here’s a few ideas for entertainment:

  • A deck of cards
  • Extra earbuds
  • Paper and pens (and crayons)
  • Handheld video games (and batteries)
  • Puzzle books
  • Book or comics
  • Dice and other compact, simple games

It doesn’t take much effort to stock and keep these items stowed away in your car. If ever an emergency does arise, you’ll be infinitely grateful when you realize you are prepared and better equipped to handle the situation.

For Help After an Indiana Car Accident

If you have been in a car accident and are in need of counsel in or around the Indianapolis area, contact Hensley Legal Group. Call us today for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.