What to Pack in Your Car’s Summer Emergency Kit


Summers in Pennsylvania can sometimes be hot and muggy. If you’re taking a summer road trip in or out of state, it’s a good idea to keep some emergency items in your car. Below is a list of ideas for items you can put in your car’s summer emergency kit.

A First Aid Kit

You should have a first aid kit in your car at any time of year. It’s a good idea to keep it stocked with band aids, gauze, antiseptic cream, pain killers like Tylenol, and adhesive medical tape. If you or someone in your family has severe allergies, you should also keep an epi-pen in your first aid kit. Hopefully you’ll never need to use it, but it’s better to be on the safe side.

Rain Poncho

Bad weather can strike at almost any time in the summer, and a rain poncho can help to keep you dry in the event of an emergency stop. It’s also a nice item to have on hand for rainy days, even if there’s no emergency.

Hats & Sunscreen

If you get caught in the summer heat with a flat tire or an overheated engine, a hat and some sunscreen can go a long way in protecting your skin. If you regularly drive with passengers, consider keeping a few hats on hand in case of emergencies.

Non-Perishable Food & Water

Your summer emergency kit should include non-perishable foods, like granola bars, trail mix, raisins, peanut butter, and hard candy. You should also keep bottles of water in your car. Even if you don’t need these items for an emergency, car snacks can help with upset stomachs or if you’re running late and have to skip a meal. If you’re traveling with pets, add some of their favorite treats to your emergency snacks as well.

A Phone & Charger

Keep a spare phone charger in your car as part of your summer emergency kit. If you have an old cell phone, you can include that as well. Phones have obvious uses, like calling for help or accessing GPS. You can also use them as a flashlight or to signal for help in the dark.

A Flashlight & Batteries

Speaking of flashlights, it’s a good idea to keep a flashlight and batteries (or a hand-crank flashlight) in your car in case of summer emergencies. Flashlights come in handy for all sorts of things from changing a tire to walking along a dark road.

A Tool Kit

You should keep a basic tool kit in your car with screwdrivers, wrenches, duct tape, and other items you might need to change a tire, patch a flat, or make other small emergency repairs.

A Compass & Paper Map

While most smartphones come equipped with GPS, it’s a good idea to keep a compass and paper map in your car, especially if you’re traveling away from home. Summer storms can interfere with cell phone reception, so having an extra way to navigate can help you reach your destination safely.

A Tow Rope

A tow rope can come in handy if your car gets stuck in mud or puddles. You can also use it to help other people who are stuck.

A Tire Jack

Flat tires are the cause of many roadside service calls. Keep a tire jack in your car so that you can fix your flat and get safely back on the road.

Jumper Cables

Jumper cables are another good all-season item to keep in your car. Whether your battery is affected by a sudden change in temperature, or it’s just starting to lose charge, keep a set of jumper cables on hand so you can get your engine back up and running.

Reflective Triangles or Road Flares

If you get stuck in the rain or on an unfamiliar road, road flares or reflective triangles can alerts others of your location. You can use them to signal for help or to warn drivers so they don’t hit your car.


Matches can be handy for lighting road flares or starting a fire. If you decide to keep some matches in your emergency kit, make sure to keep them in an air-tight container so they don’t get wet.

A Sleeping Bag or Blanket

Depending on where you’re traveling, summer temperatures can raise and lower drastically throughout the day. Keep some emergency blankets or a sleeping bag in your car. If you get stuck in inclement weather, you may not be able to rely on your car to keep you warm until help comes. By having a sleeping bag or heavy blankets available, you can wrap up and stay warm whether your car is running or not.

Extra Windshield Washer Fluid

It’s easy to use up windshield washer fluid in the summer, especially when you’re driving through areas with lots of loose dirt or insects. Keeping extra washer fluid in your car can help you keep your windshield clear so you can safely see the road. You can even get a bug wash formula for summer use.

Emergency items can help to keep you safe on your summer road trips. Another important safety measure is general vehicle maintenance. Restored Auto LLC can help you prep for summer by checking your tires, changing your oil and filter, replacing your wiper blades, fixing your brakes, and performing other important vehicle maintenance. Call us today to schedule an appointment.

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