Tools to Keep in Your Car in Case of an Emergency

Table of Contents

You never know when disaster is going to hit and you need to be prepared when traveling. These tools to keep in your car in case of emergency could help save the day when disaster hits! Inclement weather is one the biggest causes of car related emergencies. All seasons can have their unique weather related road hazards. Winter can bring icy roads and dangerous conditions. And in the spring you can encounter high winds and even tornadoes in the mid-west and southern United States. But not all road hazards are caused by nature. Dangerous drivers and other cars on the road can be the real danger on road trips.  

First Aid Kit

This can come in handy if you get injured and have to wait a long time for emergency respondents. Or, maybe you are in an area without a cell phone signal and there is no one around to help out. Then you’ll have to use a first aid kit to get yourself at least well enough to find someone to help. Plus a first aid kit can come in handy if you find someone else in need while you are traveling. 

First Aid Kit

Seat Belt Cutter Tool

Having a seat belt cutter can save the day. You could have gotten into a bad car accident and your seat belt is jammed and you can’t get out of the car. Reach for your seat belt cutter and break yourself free! This is also a great option if for some reason you find yourself in a car sinking into a body of water. Be sure to store this tool in within reach. You want to be able to reach it if you’re ever trapped in by your seat belt. I keep one of these on my car key’s keychain so it’ll be within reach.

Seat belt cutter / glass breaker tools to keep in your car
Seat Belt Cutter / Glass Breaker Tool

Glass Breaker Tool

The glass breaker is great for situations where you are stuck in your car and there is no power. You won’t be able to roll down your windows for an escape without power. If your vehicle rolls after a collision and your vehicle’s doors are smashed shut. Then you can break your window easily with one of these tools to help you escape your vehicle. You can get stand-alone glass breaker tools. But you can also you can even get a glass breaker combo tool with a seat belt cutter built-in. 

tools to keep in your car flashlights


Because it’s nice to see in the dark, right? I like to use rechargeable LED emergency crank light. That way you can have it charged and ready. But when you need to conserve power you can always crank it up to charge it. Having a flashlight that can be powered by the sun or by cranking is a real life-saver if your vehicle has broken down and you have no way to power your devices off of your vehicle’s battery.

Of course, you can always go the old fashioned route and get a good old battery powered flashlight. Just be sure to keep extra batteries in your car if you have a battery powered light. You never know how long you could be stranded and need light. It’s also a good idea to keep multiple flashlights in your car, that way if you need to have someone go get gas while another person stays with the vehicle you can both have light. 

tools to keep in your car masks

Face Masks

If you live or travel in wildfire-prone areas have a few face masks in your car. These masks can help you be prepared in case you need to evacuate. Of course, wildfires can happen anywhere. That’s why I always have at least 6 in my car just to be safe. Face masks aren’t just for helping you breathe in smokey air, they are great for dust and sandstorms too. If you’re ever traveling through the desert, a face mask is a must! You never know when a sandstorm could blow through. It’s also a good idea to have face masks in your vehicle if you plan on traveling near any active volcanoes. When a volcano erupts it sends millions of nasty and harmful particles into the air. Having a high quality face mask can help you breathe in these emergency situations of volcanic eruptions. 

tools to keep in your car emergency flares

Emergency Flares

I think every car should have at least a few roadside emergency flares. You never know when you could blow a tire or break down. If you’re out in the country and you have to stay with your car overnight, having flares to place on the road could save you car and your life. 

You don’t want to run the lights on your car or your battery will eventually drain. And when you’re traveling, you could be in a very dark place or even on curvy roads when you break down. You can place flares instead of draining your battery. Placing flares allows other drivers to know that your vehicle is broken down. Hopefully, this means that drivers will slow down as they pass, and maybe even lend you a hand! 

Map and Compass

If you end up getting lost and there is no GPS or cellphone signal, or maybe your electronics have all died. Having a map and compass could save the day. This one is for extreme emergencies, but that’s what being prepared is all about. It can be nice to use a map to travel too, especially if you plan on hiking while you travel. Be sure to always get a map ahead of time for the specific area you’ll be traveling to. 


Having a multi-tool can save you in a multitude of ways. These little tools can be a lifesaver if you have no tools on hand and need to get something repaired on the fly. Usually, you can find different sizes of screwdrivers and even small wrenches on a multi-tool. But, multi-tools come in endless different tool combinations. It’s best to shop around for a good one that will suit your needs for your location and disaster possibilities. 

tools to keep in your car pepper spray

Pepper Spray

Pepper spray is a great deterrent against an attacker and can help you escape a rough situation. This comes in handy when you’re stranded in a remote location for an extended period and aren’t familiar with your surroundings. Pepper spray helps deter against attacking animals too. Though regular old pepper spray may not deter a big brown bear, it very well could fend away an attacking predator of a smaller stature like a coyote or bobcat. You never know where danger could be hiding. If you’re in an unknown or new location then it’s good to have a deterrent against thieves, criminals, and predators.

Fire Extinguisher

Engine fires are fairly common and can cause a lot of damage to your vehicle. Having a small fire extinguisher in your car ensures that, if there is a small engine fire, you are prepared. Of course, you could always be prepared to help out a fellow traveler if you happen to see a car fire too! Be sure to periodically check your fire extinguisher’s pressure level too. And replace it as needed. The smaller fire extinguishers will most likely be all used up in one use.

tools to keep in your car sola battery pack and charger
Portable Solar Battery Pack and Charger

Solar Portable Battery Pack

Sometimes you can be stuck on the side of the road, for hours or even days. In these cases, it can be extremely helpful to have a solar battery pack to keep your devices charged. Of course, this is best used for charging a cell phone, even if there is no cell phone signal where you are stranded. If you have a charged phone from solar during the day you’ll have plenty of power. You could even use your phone as a flashlight through the night in this case.

These are also great for charging any USB powered device like a radio, fan, or flashlight. You can even get some higher-powered battery packs that have jumper cable attachments. These tools can jump-start even a large V8 a few times. However, these are rarely solar powered when you find them. So, you may want to have one fully charged in your car at all times. 

Emergency Blanket

If you are traveling in a cold-weather area, then having an emergency blanket is a must! I’ve had to use an emergency blanket myself when I got lost in the woods overnight. And I do have to say, these blankets are not comfortable by any means. But when you’re in a rough situation it can make a world of difference! And, emergency blankets can be folded down to a very compact size, making this an easy item to just throw in the trunk and leave it there in case you might need it one day. 

Extra Emergency Tip!

If you are ever lost and your phone is about to die, you first instinct is to call someone for help. But what if that person doesn’t answer and you have to call someone else but your phone doesn’t have enough of a charge to keep calling people. Instead, change your voicemail with the little juice you have left. Give your approximate location and vehicle description. This way when someone calls looking for you, your voicemail will give them a “map” to where you could be located. Getting you help faster, and possibly saving the day!

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