Every car should have basic emergency supplies should you break down or become involved in an accident. But if you live in a region, or are traveling to an area, that often has wildfires, snowstorms, hurricanes, temperatures over 100 degrees F or any other kind of natural disasters, then you need also emergency survival kits in each of your vehicles. These include survival gear and can save your life if your car breaks down in the desert, freeways are shut down during a storm, or you have to flee the area quickly due to an approaching wildfire. If you break down in 100 plus degree weather, the water in the trunk of your car will be a lifesaver. You have the option of purchasing or setting up your own emergency car kits.

Where to Purchase Emergency Kits for CarsEmergency kits for earthquakesCredit: The Ready Store

You can purchase emergency kits for cars at specialty survival stores such as The Ready Store or a general retailer such as Amazon. Specialty survival stores specialize in survival kits for all disaster scenarios and will have separate kits for both car emergencies and survival that can be customized and fit into the trunk of the car.

By purchasing a car survival kit and emergency kit from Amazon, a general retailer, you’ll get to compare prices of various brands in one place.

You want to look for a kit that includes everything you need for the vehicle and the humans. This mostly likely means purchasing two separate kits, so pay attention to the size of the pack in relation to how much space you have in your vehicle.

Put Together Your Own Emergency Car Kits

You can save some money by putting together your own emergency car kits. The disadvantage is the food and water will expire within a year, so you need to check and refill your kit every six to 12 months. Put your supplies into a small duffel bag or backpack for the easiest storage in your vehicle. Your kit should include:

  • Flashlights
  • Batteries
  • Jumper cables
  • Radio
  • High calorie foods that take up little space such as protein bars
  • Cat litter to help get a tire stuck in ice or other slippery surface
  • Shovel
  • Ice scrapper
  • First aid kit
  • Water
  • Change of clothes and shoes – this is a good use for old clothes you don’t wear
  • Blankets
  • Flares or reflective triangles
  • Leatherman or other multi-functional tool
  • Poncho
  • Hand warmers if you regularly travel in snow


The emergency car kits don’t have to be as elaborate as your home survival kit, as you will most likely not be setting up camp in your car and will get help soon. But you do need supplies for each person in your car to survive for at least 72 hours in case you get cause in extreme weather conditions. Buy or set up a car survival kit that will sustain as many people as can fit into your vehicle because you never know how many people may be in your car should an emergency occur.