How To Create Your Own Roadside Emergency Kit

How To Create Your Own Roadside Emergency Kit

Car emergencies in the movies always seem to start the same way. First, it’s dark, snow is falling, and you've gotten lost. Then, suddenly, the car slips on ice, and you find yourself plowed into a drift, unable to get out. And, of course, there’s no cell signal, so roadside assistance isn’t an option.

Despite the overuse of car strandings and emergencies in Hollywood, the reality is that they do happen more often than you might think. And, they happen year-round, not just on dark wintry nights. But, you can prepare yourself and your vehicle to overcome a car emergency with the right tools. That’s where a roadside emergency kit comes in.

How To Create Your Own Roadside Emergency Kit

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What’s A Roadside Emergency Kit?

Roadside emergency kits are the survival pack for vehicular emergencies. They come loaded with tools to help drivers survive scenarios like a car stuck in a snowdrift, strandings on the highway, flat tires, and more.

There are many roadside emergency kits on the market, and these kits are great for a generic solution to roadside troubles. However, it’s usually best to create your own roadside emergency kit to suit your individual needs, location, environment, and situation. You can use a generic store bought kit as a starter for your personalized roadside emergency setup, or you can start from scratch using the list below.

What You Need In An Emergency Kit:

You should understand that roadside emergency kits need to adapt to the environment, vehicle type, and driver situation. Thus, your kit should include year-round and seasonal-based supplies, including the following:

Year-Round Essentials



Expiration of Emergency Roadside Kits

Roadside kits require updating based on the season and any expiry dates on the supplies included in the kit. Check your kit every six months for any expirations and replace those items immediately.

In Case of Emergency Safety Tips

  1. Always pack your kit with an eye towards situational awareness. For example, if you live in a dry, hot area, pack extra water. If you live in a snowy area, pack ice melt and warm socks.
  2. Avoid running the vehicle’s engine when debris, snow, or other materials may cover the exhaust. A covered exhaust can introduce deadly carbon monoxide into the vehicle.
  3. Never sleep with the car running. Instead, set up a lantern signaling for help and sleep using heat packs and blankets to stay warm.
  4. Only attempt repairs to your vehicle if you know how to do them. Otherwise, you risk injury and further damage to your car.
  5. Always leave notes and a trail if you leave your vehicle so that emergency services can locate you when they arrive.

Remember, a roadside emergency kit can be the difference between life and death in any vehicle emergency. Always keep yours up to date to ensure your safety on the road.