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Create Your Own Roadside Emergency Kit

Posted by Jeff Martin - 24 April, 2012


A roadside emergency kit can turn an inconvenient or scary situation into a manageable one. Before setting off on a long trip in your car, take the time to create your own roadside emergency kit to ensure you are prepared for unexpected problems.

Items to Include

There is a long list of recommended items that can be included in a roadside emergency kit. Each item is meant to help you handle an unforeseen situation and get safely back on the road. Every item doesn’t need to be stowed for every trip; longer drives should be prepared for with extra supplies. Every emergency kit should include:

First Aid Kit:

  • Bandages (small, medium, large)
  • Adhesive medical tape
  • Sterile gauze
  • Aspirin/ibuprofen
  • Instant hot/ice packs
  • Travel sized scissors
  • Antiseptic wipes/cream

A first aid kit is the most important part of an emergency roadside kit. A small injury, like a finger accidentally burnt on a car lighter, can become a bigger issue if not dealt with. Always keep a fully stocked first aid kit in your emergency roadside supplies.

Jumper Cables:

A worn out car battery can lead to several hours spent waiting for a tow truck if you do not carry jumper cables in a roadside emergency kit.

Roadside Flares:

The worst case scenario for many drivers is being broken down on the side of a busy highway in the dark. A few fifteen minute flares in a roadside emergency kit will alert drivers to steer clear and can get the attention of helpful emergency vehicles.

Motor Oil:

One to two extra quarts of motor oil will allow you to keep your car running when the oil warning light comes on. A car that is driven with low or no oil will quickly breakdown and need to be towed.


  • Multipurpose tool
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Phillips and flat head screwdrivers
  • Scissors
  • Tire pressure gauge
  • Tire inflator
  • Duct tape
  • Rags
  • Paper towels

A cache of helpful tools in an emergency roadside kit can save you an expensive tow to a nearby garage. Most vehicle owners’ manuals will include instructions on how to handle small repairs like loose mirrors and deflated tires.

Food & Water:

Some problems that happen while on a road trip can take hours to resolve, often causing drivers and passengers to miss a meal. A small supply of bottled water and nutritional snacks like granola bars in a roadside emergency kit will ease hunger while waiting for help to arrive.

A well-stocked and thoughtfully planned roadside emergency kit is essential for long car trips and handy while traveling daily commutes.

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