Emergency Preparedness is something that has been on everybody’s mind lately. We’ve already discussed the importance of having a prepared 72-hour kit and creating an emergency plan in our “72-hour kit and Emergency Preparedness post.” For many of us, designing our emergency preparedness plan revolves around the use of our most important “bug out” tool: our vehicle.

But what happens when a disaster, emergency, or problem hits away from home, and all we have is our vehicle? Would we have everything we need to get by? Today, we’re going to talk about how, with just a few easy steps, we can transform our vehicle into a rolling, on-the-move, 72-hour kit.


Before we can fully prepare our vehicle for any emergency we might encounter, we must first make a checklist of all the items we’ll need. As you guessed it, if we’re creating a rolling 72-hour kit, then our checklist will be very similar to the one we follow to create an at-home 72-hour kit. Here are a few items you might want to include:

Basic First Aid Kit: You can create one yourself or purchase one from any local retail store. Make sure you personalize this kit to include any prescription medications or allergy medicines you may need. Check out our Personal First Aid Kit in a Can post for ideas on how to make your own First Aid kit out of an empty Honeyville Can.

Rain Jacket or Coat: You never know what kind of weather you’ll encounter, so it is always wise to include some sort of jacket or coat. Include a coat or jacket that is meant to keep you warm and dry based on the area you live in and the weather you encounter.

Full Set of Clothes: Just as with your personal 72-hour kit, an emergency change of clothes is always a good idea to have. You never know what type of situation or scenario you might be presented with.

Wool Blanket: Warmth is always a necessity. Keeping a wool blanket, or other warm blanket of some sort, could be the difference between a comfortable or very chilly night.

Flashlight: A battery powered flashlight (with optional car charger) should be in every vehicle on the road. This could even be something as simple as a small pen light in the glove box.

Multipurpose Tool: You never know what you’ll face or what type of tools you’ll need. Keeping a Multipurpose Tool in the glove box, arm rest, or trunk is always a good idea.

Freeze Dried Food: A 48-hour supply of food is a necessity in your 72-hour kit, so why not your car too? You could package a few homemade Freeze Dried Meals in smaller mylar bags, or include a few cans of Freeze Dried Products you think you’d need. Pick products high in carbohydrates for added energy. Remember, if you keep them in a can, you’ll need a can opener on your multipurpose tool.

Water: Just as with food storage, this is always the item we absolutely need but never store enough of. You’ll want enough water to last you a full 48 hours, so including 4-5 water bottles in your car is not only easy, but smart as well.

Hand Sanitizer: Wipes or liquid, this isn’t just for little kids anymore. A strong hand sanitizer can help you clean up quick without wasting water.

Multipurpose Charger/Adapter: These are tools you can easily find at any auto or retail store, but can really make the difference in your safety and survival. Having a multipurpose charger can keep phones, computers, or other devices powered and running. Communication is key in any emergency  and the last thing you want is a cell phone with a dead battery.


Now that you have a rolling kit, where do you keep it all? Storing your items in a container, duffel bag, or backpack in the trunk of your car is the wisest choice. This keeps all items together in one organized place. For those with trucks, a locked toolbox in the back of your truck bed is also a great location to store items.

Regular Maintenance

Perhaps more important than creating your 72-hour kit is making sure that your vehicle is maintained and functional. It doesn’t do any good to have a 72-hour kit in a vehicle that isn’t running, so regular maintenance should be part of your emergency preparations. Regular oil changes, vehicle check-ups, tire rotations and replacements should be conducted regularly. As well, keeping at least half a tank of gas in your vehicle at all times could make all the difference in an emergency. Don’t wait until the gauge is on empty. Fill up whenever you hit the halfway mark.

We never know when or where we’ll be when an emergency occurs, but taking steps now to prepare our homes, or cars, and ourselves, can save time, money, and maybe even lives. Now that you’ve seen our tips for preparing your car, what are some that you might have?