If you live or intend to drive to an area prone to natural disasters such as hurricanes, snowstorms and earthquakes, you should invest in a well-stocked vehicle emergency kit. This is because, in the event of a disaster, such a kit will significantly increase your comfort and well-being. However, it is important to note that different auto survival kits are designed to meet different survival needs. For instance, some kits are designed to offer 72-hours of supplies in the event of a delayed response by the emergency services, while other kits are designed for when your vehicle breaks down in a remote location far away from the nearest service station.
This is one of those “preparedness” things that a lot of people don’t take into consideration when they hop in the car for what is supposed to be a mundane trip to the mall or work. I know this because I remember very vividly a day, many years ago, when I was in a situation that could have turned scary.
What happened was that I had to go to school – only about 10 or 11 miles away from home (it was a long time ago, so my memory may be a little fuzzy on the exact distance). Anyway, I knew that the forecast called for snow, but in northern New Jersey, that wasn’t such a big deal. “Snow” by the early 1980s was usually an inch or so. If they were calling for a “blizzard,” that was another thing entirely! On the way home, there was a total stand-still in the highway (US Route 46, “outbound” – which in that area means outbound from New York City, heading west.). It was a bit snowy, but nothing terrible.
There must have been an accident, but for the first time ever, I was worried that 1) I might run out of gas while idling on the highway, inching along, 2) there might be a situation where we all have to turn off our vehicles and wait, in which case I had NO EXTRA GEAR to keep me warm, and 3) I had no way to contact my parents (this was in the days before cell phones).
A number of different scenarios raced through my head, and I honestly didn’t know what to do other than just stay in the car and inch along. Finally, the traffic broke, and we were all on our way again – slowly, but on our way.
The point is, I wasn’t prepared for any type of emergency at all.
Since then, when travelling (especially when I’m by myself), and particularly when I’m in the north country where it snows a lot and there are mountain passes (with no cell service), I do have gear in the car. I carry a bag of “solar salt” – the type you use in a soft-water system (for traction in case I get stuck), jumper cables, food and water (always!), headlamp, etc.
When I’m travelling in cold weather, there is always a blanket. Of course now that I’m writing this page, I’m realizing that I need to check my auto emergency kit to ensure that everything is still updated. Actually, as I write this, I’m due on the road for a fairly lengthy trip in another week. I’ll be driving 1500+ miles, and I am getting my car serviced in anticipation of this trip tomorrow in fact!
With all this in mind, here is a detailed review of four of the best auto emergency kits on the market today. You might want to consider one of them for your own needs!
Ready America Deluxe
Retailing for about $800 on Amazon, this car emergency kit is specifically designed for four people, meaning it is. Because of this, everything in the kit with the exception of a few items comes in quantities of four. The kit’s content include, among other things, blankets, ponchos, nutrition bars, a power terminal with an inbuilt flashlight and AM/FM radio, and a siren content to the terminal. Other supplies include a whistle, glow sticks, multi-purpose tool, masks, goggles, some tape and leather gloves. This kid is particularly ideal for RV travels or long trips
• Enough supplies for four people
• Power terminal included
• Food and water supplies included
• No major car repair supplies
Auto Club Hero Kit
This contains almost everything to keep you safe and comfortable in virtually any survival situation. Specifically, this kit contains 185 items for safety and survival in all weather conditions. These items include a safety triangle, vest, flashlight, glow sticks and headlamp. Other supplies include a poncho, blanket, hand warmers, fire starter pack, nutrition bars, water packets, tow rope, battery cables, small air compressor, tire plugs with a gauge, a multi-purpose tool, basic tool kit, whistle, tape, a paracord, gloves, ice scraper, compass and toilet tissue.
You can buy kit on Amazon for about $120.
• The large bag can hold additional supplies
• Snacks and water included
• 85-pieces of first aid supplies
• A small air compressor is included
• A fire extinguisher is not included
The GetReadyNow 2+ Person Deluxe
Designed to fit conveniently under your car seat, this kit contains, among other supplies, a 46-piece first aid kit, ponchos, Mylar blankets, waste disposal bags, LED glow sticks, 8 water pouches, 4 Millennium food bars and LED headlamp with batteries.
• Small enough to fit under the seat
• Snacks and water included
• Contains a basic first aid kit
• No fire extinguisher
• No car repair supplies
AutoClubHero Car Emergency Kit
Retailing for $148.97 on Amazon, this kit contains a wide range of emergency supplies. Some of the items in this kit include waterproof matches, blanket, sleeping bag, as well as food and hydration supplies.
• Food and hydration supplies included
• Tire sealant included
• Fire extinguisher included
• No air compressor
• Supplies a little on the cheap side
• Basic first aid kit
If you are looking for a good auto emergency kit, consider one of the four auto emergency kits reviewed in this article.
And in the meantime, while this article – indeed, this entire site – is devoted primarily to “disaster preparedness,” when it comes to selecting a kit for your vehicle, it’s ALWAYS a good idea to have one on hand.
It could be a lovely day; however, you could find yourself on a side road when you break down and you don’t have any cell-phone service, and it might be a while before someone drives by to help you. It’s going to be at least some comfort to you when you realize you have some basic supplies to keep you comfortable while waiting for help!