Getting Prepared Week 27: An Emergency Car Kit

Print Friendly

automobileWe all know what a bug out bag is:  “A portable kit that contains the items one would require to survive for seventy-two hours when evacuating from a disaster.” You will hear such a kit referred to by many other names, including “72 hour kit”, “go bag” or “G.O.O.D (get out of dodge) bag”.  The exact term you use is not really important since the whole goal is to have basic essentials for survival readily available should disaster strike.

A couple of days ago I wrote about the myriad of things that could happen to put you and your family in a bug out situation (see A list for those that think it will never happen to them).  Some situations, such as an earthquake or tsunami, are natural disasters and others, such as a nuclear melt-down or civil disobedience, are man made.  The common thread with all of these disasters is the need to mobilize quickly and to have everything you need ready – really ready – with no scrambling around or afterthought.

So imagine this.  You are on a road trip and you vehicle stops.  It is early evening and starting to get dark but you are pretty handy around cars so you open the hood, move a few hoses and wires around, then try to get things going again.  You are alone and there is little if any traffic on the deserted road.  As much as you try, the engine is deader than a doornail and you are stuck.  It is now dark and there you are in the middle of nowhere. 

Darn, you forgot to charge your cell phone battery so you can’t call for assistance.  And man oh man, it is starting to get cold.  You are hungry and your are thirsty. 

What I have described is a situation where a bug out bag in your back seat or trunk would become invaluable.  So today, I will list out some essentials for the car kit and challenge you to gather these items and more so that you will be ready if and when you are stuck in your car for an extended period of time.

The Backdoor Survival Car Kit:

  • A thee day supply of water
  • A water bottle with built in purifier (check out the Berkey Sport or the Hydros Bottle)
  • Non-perishable food such as tuna in pouch, energy bars, peanut butter crackers
  • A survival blanket or two
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Baby wipes or personal wipes
  • Zip lock bags
  • Fold up shovel
  • Rope or paracord
  • Knife or multi-tool
  • Duct tape
  • First aid items (Band-Aids, antibiotic ointment, pain pills)
  • 3 days worth of prescription meds in little baggies, well marked
  • LED or Maglite flashlight
  • Flares and glow sticks
  • Hand crank radio and charging station (this one even includes a solar cell phone charger)
  • Jumper cables
  • Pepper spray
  • Two signs:  “HELP ME” and “I AM OK”
  • Extra clothing including socks, underwear, study jeans, sweatshirt (these can be compressed in a space bag so they will not take up too much space)
  • Reading material, perhaps a paperback or two and a Sudoku or crossword puzzle book to while away the timeDry pet food and treats

This just happens to be my list and a pretty darn good one the average for Joe and Josie.  But this is just a starting point since your needs may vary, especially if you have children in which case you would also want to include some small toys and other amusements to keep the little ones occupied.

messengerbag[1]As you go through this list, you may find that many of these items can be gathered from what you have on hand.  On the other hand, you might want to take a look at the exclusive Backdoor Survival Kit that was put together for me by Kelly over at Survival Gear Bags.  This is a fabulous value and I urge you to check it out, comparison shop, and come to your own conclusion.

Getting stuck in a vehicle could happen any time, any where.  Think about the list above and add the additional items that suit your particular situation.  As with all of the weekly preps in my “Getting Prepared” series, nothing is written in permanent ink.  Every situation, every household, and every budget is different.   The important thing is to take that first step.

The moment is now.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!


Mark your Calendar Department:  Your very own Survival Woman will once again be on the Doctor Prepper radio show.  This show is part of the Preparedness Radio Network at Blog Talk Radio and the time is noon CDT on Thursday, July 28th.  On Wednesday I will provide a call-in number so you can call  the show in real time and hassle me.  Just joking.  You are invited to call in, ask questions, and add your two cents in general.

Missed the last two shows?  Below are links to the Doctor Prepper Radio Show archives that feature yours truly.

First Show:       June 23, 2011

Second Show:  July 14, 2011

Backdoor Survival Tip of the Day:  In case you missed it, the standard mileage reimbursement rate was raised effective July 1st to 55.5 cents per mile.  For the first half of the year, the rate was 51 cents.  If your employer reimburses you for mileage, be sure to check and see if the rate being provided is the current maximum allowed by the IRS.

From the Bargain Bin:  Two things.  If you look at the menu bar at the top of the page, you will see that there is a new item:  SurvivalWoman Loves Cast Iron.  Here you will find my hand-picked cast iron favorites from Amazon, including what I consider to be the cornerstone piece: the Lodge 12-Inch Pre-Seasoned Skillet and the companion pan scrapers.

The second thing is that I am working on a new web site, The Survival Store dot Net which will feature all of the items that I have reviewed, recommended, or mentioned here on Backdoor Survival,  The store is still under construction but should be ready to go soon.

Like this? You might also like:


Getting Prepared Week 27: An Emergency Car Kit — 3 Comments

  1. SW, a great list for automobile emergencies! Here is one other item that I HIGHLY recommend that you keep in your car that will recharge that dead cell phone and also allow you to run your laptop: It is a Power Inverter, a small device that plugs into your cigarette lighter (hopefully your battery is not dead). Just go to Amazon Electronics and type in “Power Inverter”. I have the Cobra 400 Watt and it works great. You might consider a much larger model to keep for home emergencies which, when properly connected (easy to do, just follow directions) will replace a smelly, noisy gasoline/diesel generator.

  2. A wonderful list and very similar to what I have in my car – I only put it together a month or so ago. To that I would add a sheet and a blanket. We keep the blanket over the back seat to protect the seat from the dog. It smells of dog, but if I was cold I would tolerate that. The sheet is one that can be torn up to meet first aid needs, say if you had a crash as you were marooned and needed pads to stop bleeding or bandages. A clean cotton sheet that can be torn up can give you whatever size bandages you need. I have scissors in my kit too.

    I think I made a mistake in putting all my kit into a 30 litre plastic container and it skitters all over the boot of the car. I think that keeping it in a soft carry bag would be more help. It could be wedged into a corner, and carried more easily if one needed to leave the car. However then one would lose the benefit of an extra clean container for collecting water.

  3. I would also add a method of starting a fire. You never know when, where you may get stuck. In WV it can get chilly in the hills at night even in the summer. I’m sure other parts of the country are the same way.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.