What To Store In Your Car For Emergencies

We’ve talked a lot in the past about our Bug-Out-Bags, what we keep in them, how often we inventory them, and how often we swap out clothing and shoes so they’re appropriate for the season.  What I’d like to talk about today are the supplies that I keep in my car outside of my bug-out bag (BOB).

These are supplies that I don’t necessarily intend to take with me if I have to abandon my vehicle but which I think are nice to have since there’s plenty of room to store them in a car.  A BOB has limited space and you have to be very conscious of the weight of the bag since you may find yourself carrying it for long distances at some point.  That’s fine and I keep my bag well stocked and efficiently packed.  However I also keep several other items stored in my car.

Like many preppers I have a four wheel drive SUV that’s got plenty of space and compartments to store things.  I’ve got a good tool kit for making emergency repairs to the vehicle (although these days cars are so reliant on computers it’s becoming less and less likely that you can make even a basic repair on your own) and I even have an air compressor in case of a flat tire.  I think most people have similar kits in their cars but I go a step further and stock my car up for comfort as well as emergency.

I make sure the vehicle is always stocked with at least four bottles of water.  I keep a few cases of bottled water in my garage that I’m constantly drinking from and replacing.  I decided a while back that it was a good idea to keep a bottle in each of the four drink holders built into the passenger side doors.  This is nice for the family if we’re on a long car ride, but also useful should I be stuck somewhere.

In the rear storage compartment I keep an old insulated lunch box filled with energy bars and some of those fully contained tuna salad packets with crackers and mayo.  Again these snacks come in handy after a kid’s sporting event but are also great to have should I be stranded away from home and my main supplies.

I’ve also got other snacks stashed  around the vehicle in various storage compartments.  I tend to like beef jerky, trail mix, more energy bars, and a sports drink or two.  I buy all of these things at big box stores so if I’m out on the road I never have to pay full retail at some gas station mini-mart for a snack and a drink.  After all, a bottle of water [when purchased by the case] at safeway probably only costs a quarter, whereas buying one single bottle from a vending machine could cost as much as two dollars.

I also keep two super bright Coast flashlights and a whole pack of AAA batteries in the glove compartment.  Of course there’s a well equipped first-aid kit and a can of mace is tucked away as well.  Perhaps if I’m ever forced to use the mace I can flip a bottle of eye wash out the window as I drive off to safety…

Other various items that I keep in my car include: a couple of fleece pullovers and a jacket, winter hat and gloves, paracord, extra glasses, extra sunglasses, chapstick, advil, an old bath towel, baby wipes, phone charger, some extra cash and a role of quarters.  I’m like a rolling 7/11.

The way I think of it is “my car is always with me”.  Whether I’m at work, out to dinner, off shopping, or just sitting at home, my car is always right there.  So why not make sure it’s stocked up with the essentials?  Tucking a few emergency packs under the seat or in the trunk doesn’t take up much room and comes in handy on all sorts of occasions, not just emergencies.

~ Butch

4 Responses to What To Store In Your Car For Emergencies

  1. Any time I leave the city I carry a folding shovel, first aid kit, a couple gallons of water, food, 4 space blankets, maps, a portable jumper with a built in air compressor, gloves, tools, tape, tie down straps +++

  2. Note to Butch C: your SUV in the photo seems not to have a cargo barrier (mesh see-through guard installed behind the driver’s and front passenger seat) to prevent the containers in the cargo bay launching themselves at the driver at high speed if you have to brake hard or have a frontal collision. This can happen well before SHTF or TEOTWAWKI.

    Recently a cargo barrier saved a 4WD driver’s life when the snatch strap he was using correctly to pull another vehicle clear of sand came off the towed vehicle’s chassis and, along with the bow shackle and hook, crashed through his rear vehicle window before heavily denting his cargo barrier at the height of his cranium. This saved his life.

  3. Excellent point about the cargo barrier. My car actually does have one, the picture above is just a stock photo as my SUV is not so presentable…

  4. I actually keep most of my emergency items that one might put in a BOB or GHB in my vehicle’s (a 4×4 crew cab truck) many compartments. I keep a good bag and steel bottle with some sundries pertinent to BOB and GHB in it, but I use the bag for other purposes as well and find that having my extra Glock magazines, Mora knife, folding saw, duct tape, folding trowel, and long length of paracord would be a bit conspicuous, i.e. a rape kit. Mentally, I’ve prepared myself to grab what I think I’ll need (food stuffs, bottled water, prepper tools, etc.) and put in my bag if I ever need to GBH.