Monday, January 28, 2013

DIY Car Emergency Kit

We have had such a mild winter here in Northwest Iowa, that hadn't really put much thought into "winterizing" my car. Until I got hit by some idiot  person on my way to school a few weeks ago.  I wasn't hurt or anything and my poor little car will make a full recovery after a few repairs. But it did make me think- what if the accident had been more serious and my car wasn't running or I couldn't stay in my car? Luckily I could just pull off to the side of the road and sit in my warm car (which always has over a half tank of gas in the winter since I drive between towns) and wait for the police to come. But I would have been a popsicle if I had to wait outside or without heat. And so the next day I made my emergency car kit and tossed it into my trunk. It's nothing fancy and I'm sure there's more that needs to be in there, but it has to be better than nothing.

I bought a tote with a lid that locks on at Walmart. I think it was like $4.77. I also had to buy a candles, and a holder, a fresh jar of peanut butter, a package of lighters, and a bottle of water. I already had one first aid kit leftover from softball and my mom got the blue travel one for me at Christmas.

In hind sight, I probably should have done a little research about what you're actually supposed to put in an emergency car kit before I just started tossing stuff in a box, but oh well. I will be sure to update it properly before next year. ((but someone will probably have to remind me))

 I tried to find cheap boring candles, but apparently they don't exist unless you get those dumb stick ones, and there was a good chance of breaking those. So pretty, smelly candles in the emergency kit will have to do.

So I started putting things into the tote and tried to arrange them so they wouldn't jiggle all over the place.
Here's the bottom layer, nicely tucked in place.

Then the next layer:

I added in some under amour shirts that Drew was getting rid of (shhh, don't tell him!) They are nice to add for an extra layer to keep warm. (and they were free). I also have a blanket or two that stay in my trunk all the time. I think I will try to stock up on a few extra hats and gloves when everything is on mega clearance soon. 

Put the lid on, and its ready for the trunk. After winter I will probably bring it back in and a pretty label. But it's staying in my car until there's not a hint of snow anywhere and I don't have to wear mittens!!

I spent less than $10, and I know that it will be worth much more if I ever have to use it! I did add in a pair of fleece gloves that good ol' John Menard sent me for Christmas. Such a nice guy sending me gloves for my emergency kit. ((I'm kidding, Menards sends you a gift at every holiday, and they are usually pretty useful))

So are you prepared? Do you have an emergency kit in your car? What do you keep in yours??


  1. How would you prevent the candles from becoming blobs? It's currently 70 today and I know it will get to be 100 or more in the summer. What would prevent the peanut butter from going bad? Would be a good thing to make, but maybe some modifications for higher temps.

  2. Good point Amy. You must live somewhere much nicer than Iowa!! The kit I made was just for winter since I have a half hour drive each way with not much in-between. I would definitely re-evaluate the kit for summer. I think peanut butter has a pretty long shelf life, but swapping it out for new would be something that could go onto a cleaning or home maintenance schedule to be checked quarterly or seasonally.

  3. A point well made. It would be better if we have a survival kit inside our car. If I may suggest, put a flashlight, some blankets, and a Swiss knife for you to use in case of emergency. I have an emergency and survival kit in my house, so I guess putting one on my car would be ideal as well 'cause you'll never know when you're gonna need it. Enoch Ross

    1. I do have a flashlight in my glove box, and a few blankets that stay in like a fabric storage bag in my trunk. Those things are in my car all the time. I do not have a knife of any kind though, and one that has a million different options would probably be good for tossing in there. I was planning to stash this away and just put in a small summer version, but here in good old Iowa we had snow on May 1. So the summer kit will have to wait a while longer.

  4. I am fully agreed that auto emergency kits are one of the most versatile disaster kits that everyone should have prepared in case of an emergency. Unfortunately, while most people have emergency home disaster kits, very few think to keep car Emergency Kits on hand in their vehicles. We should focus this thing in our mind as it is the matter of our life.

  5. Great, Thank you for sharing with us. Very nice article & have great information.

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