Emergency supplies to carry in your car

Brad Bergholdt / McClatchy-Tribune News Service /


Published Nov 25, 2012 at 04:00AM / Updated Nov 19, 2013 at 12:31AM

Q: Can you recommend a kit to keep in the car for emergencies? I’ve seen them for sale but thought the parts were cheap quality and the kit not complete enough.

A: My list is large, designed for folks who really hit the road, or go off of it. Others can pick and choose to suit their needs and available trunk space. Assembling the kit will take some time but could be well worth the effort. Please write in additional suggestions.

• First aid kit

• Hand sanitizer and wipes

• Road flares (replace every five years)

• Gloves

• Zippo lighter

• Flashlight (Home Depot’s Rayovac Indestructible 2 AA LED light is my choice)

• Spare AA batteries

• Space or foil blankets

• Whistle

• Signal mirror from a marine supply store

• Ponchos

• Granola bars, vacuum-sealed

• Gallon of drinking water, which can also be used as engine coolant

• Battery jumper cables

• Tire pressure gauge, preferably dial type

• A few sheet rock screws, for plugging small tire holes

• Nonflammable aerosol tire inflator/sealer

• Radiator stop leak, such as AlumAseal or Bar’s Leaks

• Roll of Rescue Tape or electrical tape to repair hoses

• Assortment of zip ties

• Small roll of baling wire

• Roll of duct tape

• Quart of motor oil

• Quart of automatic transmission fluid

• $10 in quarters

• Paper and pencil

• Partial or larger roll of paper towels

• Tarp or towel to lay or kneel on when changing a tire or making repairs

• “Need help” sign or sun shade

• Orange smoke flare from marine supply store

• Sturdy bag for carrying supplies

• Leatherman or similar multi-tool

• Slip joint and vise grip pliers

• .2 standard and Phillips screwdrivers

• Scissors

• Previously replaced fan or serpentine belt, as a spare

• Assortment of fuses; check if your car uses SFE, ATO, mini ATO fuses or low profile mini ATO

• Tire chains, seasonally