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printable emergency car kit checklist

*Click HERE for the FREE Printable Emergency Car Kit Checklist*

Today, I would like to take some time to encourage all of you to put together your own emergency car kit if you haven’t done so already.


Because things happen.

Dangerous storms, natural disasters, winter weather, and national emergencies sometimes come out of nowhere at inconvenient times. Usually you have to deal with an emergency wherever you are. And for many people that might be while you are on the road, and away from home.

Even something as simple as a blown tire on the side of the highway is enough to put you into emergency mode when you’ve got children in tow! Sure, help may only be a phone call away, but sitting on the side of a busy interstate in the blazing sun or in freezing winter weather for an hour or more with a couple of uncomfortable and starving children has the potential to be an incredibly stressful situation.

Wouldn’t it be such a comfort to just have everything you would need to get by until the worst part was over? Parents, wouldn’t you like be able to keep your children happy and comfortable until help arrived?

Having an emergency car kit is a good idea for everybody everywhere. At the very least it could take a load of stress out of a very stressful situation, and at the most it could potentially save your life, and the lives of your loved ones.

If you haven’t already assembled an emergency car kit, today is the day you start getting one prepared! And I’ve made it easy, I’ve done all the hard work and created a printable Emergency Car Kit Checklist for you to go by. I dare say, it is probably the most thorough list on the web!

I’ve been working hard on this checklist for the past few days because I’m actually right there with you if you aren’t completely prepared with a car kit yet. At one point, I had my kits somewhat put together and in place in the family vehicle. But over the past year, I’ve picked at it a little here and a little there, using up things as I needed them. And it never was really complete to begin with. So, it’s time for me to update my supplies and add the final touches.

Plus, I’ve learned that some of the things I did were a big “no-no” and will need to be corrected (boy am I glad I didn’t find this out before I really needed my kit!).

So, click on the link at the top of this post to check out the spreadsheet I’ve created. If you think of anything that should be added, please feel free to make suggestions. You’ll notice I’ve included comments to many of the items listed. These are valuable tips to consider when packing your kit, so take time to read them.

But where am I supposed to store all of this stuff?

I know some of you are looking at this and thinking, “I don’t have room for all that stuff!” Even if you have a small car, there are places you can stuff supplies throughout the interior. In the glove box, underneath seats, in the trunk… it doesn’t all have to be in one place. Get creative. Plus, you don’t have to have everything on my list. Pack the most basic of basics if your space is severely limited.

But building a car kit is expensive!

It can be. But it doesn’t have to be. Start by going through the checklist and filling a tub with things you already have laying around your home. Put these things in your car, and slowly build your stash from there. Buy an extra food item once a week, or once a month, to put into your kit. Something is better than nothing, so do whatever you can as you are able.

Please consider the importance of having a well stocked vehicle. Especially if you have children depending on you for survival.

Think it won’t happen to you? I’m sure these families didn’t either:

{UPDATE: It looks like the links to these stories have been deleted from their news pages, but you still get the idea.}

The Tragic Story of the Kim Family, who got off on the wrong road, then stranded in snowy weather. Found nine days later, here’s how some survived, and sadly, one did not. (You can also watch the firsthand account interview here.)

A 9 year old girl survives a car accident that left her trapped in an upside down car for two days.

Family trapped in snowbound car for days. Fortunately, they were somewhat prepared!

Man survives being trapped in car for 6 1/2 days by melting snow, and eating peanut butter and packets of taco sauce.

Tips to remember…

1. Don’t ever leave your car, unless it is no longer safe to stay there, or help is within sight.

2. Pack some food and water within reach of each family member in case an accident traps you in your seat. A whistle and blanket within reach would also be a good idea, if possible.

3. If you get stuck in the snow, get out of your car and make sure the tailpipe isn’t blocked off. If it isn’t clear, carbon monoxide can fill the vehicle and is undetectable and deadly. Crack your car window slightly every now and then just in case poisonous gases are building up, and to get fresh air circulating.

4. Run the heat no more than 15 min. every hour to conserve fuel.

I hope I never have to use my car kit for a major emergency. At the very least, if we’re away from home longer than expected I’ll have basic supplies to keep my family content.

It’s so much better to have the stuff and need it, than need it and not have it.

Do you have a car kit packed? If not, make it a goal to get it assembled in the next week.

**Printing Instructions:

If you are having trouble printing the checklist, try this.

File (on spreadsheet) –> Download As –> Web Page (.html, current sheet)

A new window will open up. Go to the File menu, and click on Print Preview. Select the Landscape option, and Scale: Fit To Page. Then Print away!