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Post-Harvey And National Preparedness Month: Auto Club Tips For How To Build An Emergency Kit For Your Car

First Aid Kit by DLG Images
Photo by DLG Images

With recovery underway following Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma threatening the Southeast and this month’s National Preparedness Month underway, some families are realizing that their emergency kits should be reevaluated and others realized they had no kits at all. The Automobile Club of Southern California is reminding residents to be prepared for an emergency whether at home or on the road. Recent AAA research found that 4 in 10 Americans do not carry an emergency kit in their car.


“It’s important for drivers to be prepared for car trouble or emergencies by outfitting their vehicle with food, water, tools, clothing and other gear in a roadside emergency kit,” according to the Auto Club’s Approved Auto Repair Manager Dave Skaien.  “These items can help them should their vehicle become disabled, or they become lost.  Properly stocked, an emergency kit will help drivers with minor breakdowns, or possibly survive, until help arrives,” he added.


“It’s very important to have a fully-charged cell phone and charger in your vehicle, along with blankets, and a jacket. It’s also important to have a flashlight in your glove box.  These items will aid motorists in the event that they require a tow or 9-1-1 emergency assistance,” added Skaien. 


The Auto Club recommends the following items be included in a basic roadside emergency kit whether for commuting, a road trip or anytime:


Automobile Roadside Emergency Kit Checklist:

Auto Club/AAA Membership Card (in your wallet)


Candles (in cold climates)

Cell phone (fully charged) and a cell phone car charger

Disposable camera or cell phone with camera to photograph crash damage

Duct tape

Extra prescribed medications, First aid kit

Food – non-perishable  

Fire extinguisher, flares, warning triangles or reflectors

Flashlight – impact resistant with extra batteries

Heavy gloves, jacket, poncho and hat

Jack for tire change

Jumper cables

Legal papers (proof of insurance, vehicle registration, in glove box)

Paper towels, pencil/pen and notebook, rags, towels

Quart of oil, coolant (specific to your vehicle)

Reflective sun shade

Tire chains 

Tire pressure gauge



CST 1016202-80 Copyright © Automobile Club of Southern California. All Rights Reserved.
The Automobile Club of Southern California is a member club affiliated with the American Automobile Association (AAA) national federation and serves members in the following California counties: Inyo, Imperial, Kern, Los Angeles, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Tulare, and Ventura.