10 Things to Include in Your Car Emergency Kit

April 11 / Posted by Christi Hintz

As a travel nurse, you’ll probably be spending a lot of time on the road. Ideally, you’ll run into very few troubles during your travels- but it’s important to be prepared for when troubles do arise. In times like these, you’ll be glad that you packed an emergency kit.


What should you include in this kit? Here are some ideas of helpful items to keep in your car emergency kit.


  1. First Aid Kit


You probably already know what a good first aid kit should include, but if you need a quick refresher you can find a very detailed list on the Red Cross’s website. Don’t forget to keep this kit stocked and replace items as you use them.


  1. Flashlight and Spare Batteries


While just about every smartphone out there has a flashlight function, it’s important to have an old school flashlight in your emergency kit anyway. During an emergency, your phone battery should be reserved for communication, and a regular flashlight will be brighter and easier to hold while checking your engine or changing a tire. Store batteries outside the flashlight in order to prevent leaking, and keep an extra set of batteries in your kit just in case.


  1. Tire Sealant


If you encounter a minor puncture, you may be able to temporarily salvage the tire with tire sealant. Make sure you read the instructions and understand how to use it before you need it.


  1. Jack, Lug Wrench, and Spare Tire


These items may not go directly into your emergency kit, but they’re important to have in case you find yourself with a flat that can’t be fixed with tire sealant. Again, it’s good to learn how to change a tire before you find yourself in a position where you’ll need to.


  1. Jumper Cables


A flat tire isn’t the only thing that could strand you. There are even jumper cable options that have a battery attached so that you can jump start your car yourself. Just make sure that you keep the battery charged and check it before each trip.

  1. Road Flares


A road flare helps warn people of danger and alerts them to your presence should something happen to your car. It will help keep you and others safe when an emergency happens. If you’ve never used one before, it’s a good idea to do some research so that you know how to use them and what to expect.


  1. Tool Kit


You can either purchase or put together a small toolkit with at least the following:


Tire Gauge

Vice Grips

Pocket Knife




Duct Tape


  1. Weather-Related Items


Travel nursing can take you to many different climates. Pack some of the following if you have weather-related concerns where you’re headed.


Ice scraper

Fleece blanket, in case you get stranded

Cat litter, to help you get traction on ice or snow

Warm clothing like coats, gloves, hats, etc.

Foldable shovel


Rain poncho

Change of clothes, in case you get wet

Tire chains


  1. Cash


A lot of people these days opt to only carry cards on them most of the time. However, there might come a day when technology fails you and you’ll need some actual cash to pay for things like tolls or gasoline. When that day comes, you’ll be happy that you brought a bit of cash to get you through.

  1. Non-Perishable Food and Water


If the worst comes to worst and you do get stranded, you’ll want to have some food and water available to keep yourself nourished and hydrated until you can get help.


This list is by no means exhaustive, and different people will recommend that you bring more or less than the items included on this list. You never really know what you’ll need in the event of an emergency, but you can be better prepared by keeping an emergency kit in your car.


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