Build your car emergency kit

Published 6:14 pm Friday, January 7, 2022

Last week, the world watched in horror and disbelief as multiple vehicles were trapped on Interstate 95 in icy and snowy weather.

With many of those people unable to leave their vehicles to find warmth, food and safety, it truly was a recipe for disaster. However, there have been no deaths reported from the chilly chaos, and that’s due to some combination of God’s grace, good fortune, the folks who were stuck helping each other, and the work of emergency crews to clear the roadblock and get everybody back on their way.

There are multiple lessons to be learned here, not the least of which is to heed the warnings when told to stay off the roads. While surely many of the folks stuck on I-95 last week were trying to reach important destinations, such as essential jobs, some others were out needlessly.


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Another lesson? Build a vehicle emergency kit. The below list from AAA outlines some of the most important items to have in your vehicle emergency kit for any kind of emergency, and specific suggestions on where to keep them for some items.

With any luck or a little bit of pre-planning, you should be able to locate these items that you already own or buy them a little at a time as you build your kit. If you’re ever stuck with your vehicle for any reason, these items are certain to come in handy.

  • Cell phone and car charger (glove compartment)
  • First-aid kit (glove compartment)
  • Blanket (luggage area)
  • Drinking water/snacks for everyone in the car including pets (some in glove compartment, the rest in the luggage area)
  • Flashlight with extra fresh batteries
  • Rags, paper towels or pre-moistened wipes
  • Basic set of tools along with duct tape and car emergency warning devices such as road flares or reflectors (luggage area)
  • Ice scraper/snow brush
  • Jumper cables/jump pack
  • Traction aid such as sand, salt or non-clumping cat litter
  • Tarp, raincoat and gloves
  • Shovel