Emergency essentials

Carry the following in an emergency box or plastic tub in your vehicle trunk or cargo area of your SUV or pickup:

  • Flashlights with extra batteries
  • Stocked first aid kit (check that items are not missing or outdated)
  • Pocketknife or multi-purpose tool
  • Blanket or sleeping bag
  • Mittens, socks and a wool cap
  • Waterproof matches or butane lighter
  • Waterproof covering like a tarp or poncho
  • Three-pound coffee can or equivalent for heating water
  • A small sack of sand or cat litter for generating traction under stuck wheels (also adds weight for better traction and handling)
  • A small shovel
  • Bottled water (but remember it will probably freeze so allow expansion room in the container)
  • Battery booster (jumper) cables
  • Energy bars or other high-energy food like raisins or nuts
  • Waterproof matches or a cigarette lighter
  • Candles (a blanket over your head, body heat and the heat from a single candle can prevent freezing)
  • Basic tool kit, including pliers, screwdrivers, adjustable wrench, tape and wire
  • Paper towels or toilet tissue, good for their designed purpose as well as a fire starter
  • Spare tire
  • Rope, tow chain or a strap
  • Starter fluid, extra oil, gas line deicer and battery booster cables
  • Map of the area where you plan to travel
  • Signaling devices such as emergency flares or a mirror


Published 11-23-2012