11 Things To Keep In Your Roadside Emergency Kit

11 Things To Always Keep In Your Roadside Emergency Kit

Broke down vehicle on side of the road

Nobody wants to get stranded on the side of the road. Not only is it an inconvenience, but it can be unsafe and sometimes, downright scary. 

There are a few things we should keep in our vehicle at all times just in case of an emergency.

A Phone Charger

You should have a phone charger that is designated to your vehicle, not one that you need to bring in and out of the house every day. 

You don’t want the day you forgot your charger to be the same day your phone died while on the road and you broke down. Hey, when it rains it pours, right? So why take the chance? Just keep one in your console and never let the kids steal it.

Having the sense of security that if you do get stranded with a dead phone battery on the side of the road...you at least have your handy phone charger to charge your phone and call for roadside assistance.

Windshield Washer Fluid

If you run out of windshield washer fluid in the middle of nowhere and your windshield gets covered in salty streaks...you aren’t going to be able to drive safely. You have to be able to see out that windshield!

Spare Tire, Jack, and Lug Wrench

Changing a tire on the side of the road

This one seems like a no-brainer. If you get an irreparable flat tire and don’t have a spare, you’re going to have a bigger inconvenience on your hands. 

Having a spare tire means, in the event you get a flat tire (bound to happen sooner or later,) that you can either change your flat tire yourself or call for roadside assistance and have someone else change it for you right there where you got the flat. 

Then, afterwards, you can drive to have your tire replaced. 

If you don’t have a spare tire when you get a flat, well...then you’re going to either have to pay more to have someone bring you a new tire, or drive you to get your tire replaced and leave your vehicle on the side of the road. It’s a hassle that’s just not worth it.

Even if you don’t want to ever change a spare tire a day in your life, you should still have a spare tire in your vehicle in case you need to have someone else change that flat for you.

Don’t forget to check that your spare is fully inflated now and then.

Water & Non Perishable Snacks

Keeping some bottled water and non perishable snacks, like granola bars or pretzels in the car is a really good idea for lots of reasons! 

You get stuck in traffic on your way to lunch and end up having to go to your next meeting on an empty stomach—nope! You are smart enough to have a few snacks handy in your car. 

If you get stranded during a storm, a natural disaster, or in a remote area it could be awhile before you can get assistance. Having water and some sort of food source could make all the difference to how comfortable you are  if you have to wait long. 

If you have children be sure to keep enough for an emergency for everyone who regularly travels with you. One of the most stressful situations in the world is being stranded on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere with little ones crying from thirst and hunger in the backseat. No fun. None at all! 


Flashlight—because seeing what you’re doing on a pitch black road during a breakdown is a good idea.

Reflective Triangles

Reflective Triangle for Roadside Emergency

Changing a flat tire or doing any work under the hood while pulled over on the side of the road can be dangerous if other drivers can’t see you. 

Weather conditions could impair visibility and make roads slick causing a real hazard to you on the side of the road.

Be sure to always have reflective triangles in your vehicle's emergency kit.

Reflective triangles are long lasting and easy to set up. You simply put them on the side of the road leading up to the back of your breakdown.

The triangles are made with a highly reflective surface to alert other motorists that your vehicle is ahead. 

Having these simple triangles set up can truly be a life saver.  They can keep both you and your passengers safe while you either fix your breakdown, get a tow truck, or wait for roadside assistance to arrive.


Missouri can get real cold in the winter. If you are broken down and waiting for roadside assistance and your vehicle won’t start...that means no heat. Keeping a few extra warm blankets can be a life saver.

First Aid Kit

First aid kit for car

Keeping a first aid kit is just smart. You don’t have to be broken down or even in an emergency to need to grab a quick bandage! 

No matter where you travel by car you’ll have a quick fix for any bites, bangs, or bruises.

Small Shovel

Getting stuck in the snow stinks. But getting stuck in the snow and having a small shovel in your trunk isn’t as bad. You have the tool you need to dig yourself out.

Battery Jumping Cables

A dead battery is a drag. Keeping a pair of jumping cables in your vehicle is a smart idea. 

How many times has your battery died while you're in the middle of a parking lot and you have to stand around asking strangers if they happen to have any jumping cables? 

At least if you have the jumping cables you can stand there with them in your hands and ask a friendly face for a jump.

You can always call for roadside assistance if you’re not comfortable asking a stranger for a jump. Or, maybe you're in the parking lot of your workplace and you can ask a coworker to give you a jump. Or at an event where you know other people...it’s a good idea to have those cables just in case. 

Better to have them and not ever need them, then to need them and not be able to get your hands on a pair.

Ice Scraper

Unexpected storms can happen. Especially if you’re at work for 8 hours. Weather can change quickly. Keeping an ice scraper in your vehicle at all times can get you out of a quick icy jam.