Skip to content

News & Events

road emergencies

Emergency Car Kit: Everything you need

In January 2022, hundreds of Virginia drivers were stranded on Interstate 95. Some drivers were stuck on the 50-mile stretch of road for over 19 hours.  A multi-vehicle crash caused a traffic jam that held drivers prisoner in the freezing winter temperatures.

The area had received over a foot of snow — an amount Virginia citizens are not used to handling. To make matters worse, temperatures dropped as low as 26°F, and those stranded were not prepared.

Fortunately, you don’t have to be unprepared if something like this happens. Emergencies can happen at any time of year, and there are some supplies you should always keep in your car.

Everyday Essentials

You should always keep these items in your car, regardless of the season.

1. Car Cell Phone Charger — one of the most important things you can do is ensure you can contact emergency services or family members when you need to. Keeping your cell phone charged is essential in emergencies.

2. Map — everyone uses GPS nowadays, but maps can still be handy in an emergency. You never know when you may lose signal or power and not have GPS access. Being able to read a map can be a literal lifesaver.

3. First Aid Kit — You shouldn’t go anywhere in your car without a basic first-aid kit. You never know when bandages and medications could save your life.

4. Water — The last thing you want is to become dehydrated when stranded somewhere. We highly recommend SOS Food Lab Water Pouches because they’re easy to store anywhere and has a long 5-year shelf-life.

5. Ready-To-Eat Meals — If you’re stuck in your car for a long time, you will get hungry. Non-perishable, ready-to-eat meals can keep you sustained for hours until you receive help. We recommend New Millennium Energy Bars – they’re ready to eat, don’t promote thirst, packed with nutrients, and taste great.

New Millennium Energy Bars

6. Extra Clothing — Extra clothing can be helpful when you’re stranded in the cold and need extra layers. It’s also beneficial if you get wet, bloody, or torn clothes.

7. Seatbelt Cutter — A seatbelt cutter can be a lifesaver if you need to exit your car quickly. Whether in an accident or your vehicle has entered a body of water, you don’t want to be fighting to un-click your seatbelt.

8. Whistle — A whistle is handy if you need to make yourself visible, as it will help people find you.

9. A Copy of Your Emergency Plan & Documents — Your emergency plans will help you keep your head straight during a distressing time. Emergency documents can also help emergency personnel provide the correct treatment and connect you with your family.

10. Flashlight with Extra Batteries — A basic flashlight and extra batteries will help you see during a nighttime emergency.

11. A Basic Set of Tools & Duct Tape — A basic set of tools can help you fix your car enough to get you home or somewhere safe during minor emergencies.

Keep These In Your Trunk

You should also keep these items on hand regardless of the season. They tend to be bulkier, so they are best kept in your trunk.

1. Cat Litter or Sand — Cat litter and sand can help you get the extra traction you need when your car gets stuck.

2. Tow Rope — If sand isn’t enough, a tow rope and an extra car can help pull you out of a tight situation.

3. Jumper Cables — A simple set of jumper cables can help you get your car running again in just a few minutes.

jumper cables
Jumper cables

4. Antifreeze — During normal temperatures, antifreeze keeps your engine from overheating and may prevent a fire. During the winter, it keeps the fluid in your radiator from freezing.

5. Windshield Washer Fluid — Windshield washer fluid helps keep your windshield clear so you can see where you’re going when you finally get back on the road.

6. Flares/Reflective Triangle — Flares ensure that other motorists can see you when you’re broken down, so an already bad situation doesn’t worsen.

7. Fire Extinguisher — A good fire extinguisher can be a lifesaver if your car overheats and catches fire.

Winter Essentials

You won’t want to go without these items during winter, especially if your region sees a lot of snow.

1. Traction Tracks — These are a great, upgraded alternative to kitty litter or sand.

2. Heated Car Blanket — Heated blankets are great for emergencies where it’s especially cold, as they will keep you warmer than a regular blanket.

3. Hand Warmers — These are a fast and effective way to warm up any part of your body.

4. Snow Brush/Ice Scraper — You’ll need to keep your car clear of snow and ice, especially if you’re stranded.

5. Blanket — Regular, thick blankets are essential. If you’re stranded in the cold for a long time, you need something to keep you warm.

6. Shovel — Like an ice scraper, shovels are handy for keeping your car clear of snow when stranded.

For Extra Preparation

You won’t find these items on most car emergency lists, but they’re handy. You’ll never regret being extra prepared in your time of need.

1. Portable Power Pack — These are amazing because they allow you to jump-start your car on your own. You’ll no longer need to rely on the kindness of strangers.

have an emergency car kit ready
An emergency kit should be stored in your car

2. Roadside Emergency Kit — These kits make preparing your car easy as they come with most of the necessities to prepare you for an emergency.

3. LED Emergency Lights — LED lights are a brighter, safer, and reusable alternative to road flares and reflective triangles.

4. Personal Locator Beacon — These radio beacons send out distress calls to alert emergency responders to your location.

5. Rechargeable Electric Lighter — Electric lighters provide light and heat whenever you need them. You can even use them in wet conditions.

6. Juice Boxes — Juice boxes are an excellent alternative to water bottles. They don’t freeze as quickly, instead turning into a slushy-like drink.

7. Long-Burn Emergency Candles — These candles provide light and heat for several hours.

8. A Tarp, Raincoat, & Gloves — These items can be a lifesaver in cold, wet conditions.


Whether winter or summer, you should keep your car stocked with basic emergency essentials. They can be helpful in various situations and may save multiple lives.

Contact SOS Food Lab

Hurricane Season is here – be prepared.

Contains 27 water pouches, nine 400-calorie food bars, and 3 Thermal Blankets.

All in a handy zippered case.

We’re always innovating, creating new products with food additives like vitamins, and water additives like electrolytes, with our partner and customer needs in mind.

Survival Food and Water

Thank you so much for your help and wonderful attitude. I appreciate your quick work to get the products we needed to us fast. I will definitely be an SOS customer from now on – and will encourage everyone else in the industry to do the same!!

Charity – CSU Global