Get Ready: Emergency Car Supplies

Get Ready for Extreme Weather: Week 2

Emergency Car Supplies

car in snow

This week we are looking at things you should have in your vehicle in case of an emergency.

Check your car. If you don’t have them, create a shopping list and buy them now, or put this on your To Do List so you remember to do this in the near future.

Four types of things you should keep in your car at all times (if you live in Minnesota)

  1. Car maintenance tools
  2. Basic first aid supplies in case of injury
  3. Signage and communications tools when you need help, and
  4. Food and supplies if you are stranded in your car for a few hours or a day.

Car Maintenance

  • Ice scraper (a credit card can work in a pinch)
  • Jumper cables. How to use jumper cables
  • Bag of sand or kitty litter for traction
  • Emergency shovel (see this one, for example). There are a lot of flimsy shovels out there. Make sure the one you choose is sturdy enough to be useful. Read the reviews!
  • Tow rope (strong enough to tow 6,000 lbs)
  • Windshield washer fluid (1 jug)
  • A spare tire and tire iron to remove a tire
  • “Fix a Flat” foam tire sealant
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Tire gage
  • Glass breaker and seatbelt cutter (see how to use it). There are several types of glass breaker/seatbelt cutters. This tool will be essential if you are caught in your car in a flood or underwater, or if you are in a car accident and stuck in your seatbelt. Remember to put it somewhere accessible and to secure it so it won’t fall out of reach should you need it.
  • You may want to carry extra fluids, especially if you know you have a leak: Motor oil that matches the oil in your engine right now and brake fluid.

Car First Aid Kit

You will find very basic kits in stores like Target or Walgreens, but they may not have all of the things you need and the quality may be poor. Consider putting together your own kit with supplies you have purchased separately and put into a backpack, box, or large tin.

  • Tweezers
  • Self-adhesive bandages (different sizes)
  • Large bandages and roll of adhesive tape
  • Colorful bandana to use as a signal, a bandage, or a tissue!
  • Scissors
  • Safety pins
  • Latex gloves
  • Common drugs: antihistamine, pain reliever, anti-diarrhea, antiseptic cream or spray
  • Medication for existing medical conditions, esp for asthma or allergic reactions to bug bites (Some medications cannot withstand temperature changes and should not be kept in the car)
  • Gauze for cleaning wounds
  • Thermometer
  • Sunscreen and sunburn cream
  • Insect repellent
  • First Aid How-To booklet

Next up: Signage and communications tools

This email series is brought to you by neighborhood volunteers at Transition Longfellow. It is designed to help you become more prepared for extreme weather emergencies. Transition Longfellow does not endorse or recommend any of the products mentioned in this email series. Neither Transition Longfellow nor Transition Twin Cities receives any compensation for products mentioned on their websites. Products are mentioned for illustration purposes only.