Guide to Building an Emergency Car Kit

In 2019, the National Safety Council reported a 35% increase in motor vehicle deaths in Maine compared to 2018, which was the highest year over year increase in the United States. Accidents can happen without warning, no matter how much of a seasoned driver you are, but if you’re prepared for the unexpected you can significantly reduce the risk of injury and death in the event of a collision. Whether you’re driving a mile down the road or embarking on a long road trip, it’s important to keep an emergency kit readily available in your vehicle with all the essentials you may need should you break down, experience an accident, or simply get lost. 

To help you keep yourself and your family safe, we’ve compiled the ultimate guide to putting together your own emergency car kit. 

Why You Need An Emergency Car Kit

Up here in Maine, the weather can be unpredictable year-round. From the hot, humid temperatures in the summer to the frigid cold and snowstorms in the winter, we have to be prepared for it all. Because of these frequent weather changes, it’s crucial to be prepared for anything. At any time, your car can break down or you can experience an emergency that results in being stranded on the side of the road for extended periods of time. If you have an emergency kit, you can help protect yourself and your loved ones while you wait for emergency responders to assist you.

What To Include

In addition to emergency essentials, there are a few items you should keep in your car in the event of an accident. When putting together your kit, here’s a breakdown of what you should include:

  • First aid kit — this should have the basics for medical emergencies including but not limited to backup medications, bandages and gauze, splints, sterile pads, and gloves.
  • Portable charger — if your car battery dies, this will help you keep your cellphone working as long as possible to call for help.
  • Bottled water — you should keep several bottles in your car whenever you travel far distances.
  • Blankets — if you break down or experience an accident in cold weather, a blanket will help keep you and your passengers warm to prevent hypothermia.
  • Flashlight — this is an important item to have for emergencies and should be one that you can manually charge should the batteries run out.
  • Non-perishable snacks — some of the best items to keep in your emergency kit for nourishment are granola bars and nuts.
  • Reflectors — emergency hazard triangles to place near the rear of your car to alert oncoming traffic of your disabled vehicle.
  • Map — if you get lost, a map can help guide you to safer roads if you should lose cell phone service.
  • Windshield wiper fluid and ice scrapers — if you get caught in a storm without these items, you won’t have visibility should you find a way to drive to safety.

Building an emergency kit with this guide in mind may keep you and your passengers safe should you experience an emergency. If you have any related questions, please visit our website to find a local agent near you: 



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