Emergency Kit Guides for Back-to-School

Emergencies are not planned and can happen at any moment, and this includes during the road trip back to campus after break. Keep your vehicle stocked with the tools you need to stay on the road and be safe. Are you unsure of what you need in your vehicle emergency kit? Here are three separate guides to help give you an idea what to include.

Suggested AutoZone Products

The Bare Necessities

Maybe your car is jam packed with everything you want to put in your dorm or you could be confident in your car enough to only pack the bare necessities for an emergency car repair kit. Whatever the case, you should make sure that at the bare minimum, you have these helpful tools in your car should you find yourself on the side of the road headed back to school.

Jumper cables

Not everyone can carry around a battery charger, but everyone should carry a set of jumper cables for emergencies. Easy to use, and great if you find yourself in a pinch, jumper cables will help charge your battery to get you back on the road. You will need someone to connect to their battery to use jumper cables.

Basic tools

Basic tools such as a screwdriver and a set of pliers wrenches could end up being a saving grace if you end up on the side of the road. Your emergency kit should include screwdrivers, pliers, vise grips, a tire pressure gauge, and a wrench.


Especially in the darkest of times, you’ll be glad you packed a flashlight in your car.


Gloves will help you if you need to get under the hood. We recommend more heavy duty style gloves instead of disposable gloves.

A Working Spare Tire / Jack System

Your spare tire and factory jack are two of the most valuable pieces of equipment your car has, and it’s often the most neglected. Be sure your spare tire is properly inflated, all pieces of the jack system are in-tact, and you know and understand how to use them. Read more about spare tire maintenance here.

Reflective Triangle

If you’re pulled over to the side of the road, you should use a reflective triangle to mark the area of the road that you are on. This will alert other drivers where your vehicle is and could even flag down some extra help.

Better Safe Than Sorry

Your car has shown some warning signs that it could use some love and DIY, but you’re ready to get on the road and back to class. It’s always great to have basic tools and something to charge a battery, so always make sure you have those in your vehicle. Here’s what you can pack in your car just in case you have trouble on the road.

Battery charging pack

You want to play it extra safe by carrying a battery charging pack in your car so in the event you do break down on your way back to school, you do not need to flag someone to help jump your car. New Lithium-Ion battery chargers are small, compact, and work excellent. Learn more about Lithium-Ion chargers here.

Portable tire inflator

You’ve noticed your tire tread is low or you have a slow leak somewhere. A portable tire inflator will inflate your tire given it did not blow out or puncture. This is a quick fix and a great tool to have handy just in case your car is not able to make it to the next gas station.

Head lamp

Your car requires some under the hood work and both hands. A head lamp gives you the light needed and keeps your hands open.


You should always make sure your fluids are topped off before having a long road trip, but in the event your car overheats, it doesn’t hurt to have some extra coolant in your car.

Ready for Anything

There is no such thing as unprepared if you pack with this emergency kit list. The vehicle is stocked with everything from the other two lists, but these items will make sure you have covered most scenarios of emergency.

Tow strap

A tow strap will be the best tool in your kit to get your vehicle out of a rut. During mud and snow seasons, a tow strap can be a lifesaver, not to mention a lot cheaper than calling a tow truck.

Light blanket

Keep a light blanket that is easy to store with your kit should you find yourself without heat and waiting on help. It also makes for good use if you get too tired and need to pull over to rest. Always pull into a rest stop rather than stopping on the side of the road.

Batteries, portable chargers

Find out what kind of items in your kit use batteries or need a charge. Flashlights die and phones are prone to dying when you need them most. Having some spare AA batteries and a portable phone charger or car charger will go a long way when you need it to.

First Aid kit

AutoZone recommends keeping a first aid kit with your emergency pack. Your first aid kit should include Band-Aids, disinfectant wipes, gauze, medical tape, and burn cream. This will take care of minor injuries until you are able to get help for other major injuries.

Road flare

Sometimes, a reflective triangle won’t get the job done. Put a flare in your vehicle’s emergency kit to flag down help. AutoZone sells a waterproof and floatable flare that uses 9 different signals to keep you safe on the side of the road.

Advice, how-to guides, and car care information featured on and AutoZone Advice & How-To’s are presented as helpful resources for general maintenance and automotive repairs from a general perspective only and should be used at your own risk. Information is accurate and true to the best of AutoZone’s knowledge, however, there may be omissions, errors or mistakes.

Be sure to consult your owner’s manual, a repair guide, an AutoZoner at a store near you, or a licensed, professional mechanic for vehicle-specific repair information. Refer to the service manual for specific diagnostic, repair and tool information for your particular vehicle. Always chock your wheels prior to lifting a vehicle. Always disconnect the negative battery cable before servicing an electrical application on the vehicle to protect its electrical circuits in the event that a wire is accidentally pierced or grounded. Use caution when working with automotive batteries. Sulfuric acid is caustic and can burn clothing and skin or cause blindness. Always wear gloves and safety glasses and other personal protection equipment, and work in a well-ventilated area. Should electrolyte get on your body or clothing, neutralize it immediately with a solution of baking soda and water. Do not wear ties or loose clothing when working on your vehicle.

FREE Loan-A-Tool® program requires returnable deposit. Please note that the tool that you receive after placing an online order may be in a used but operable condition due to the nature of the Loan-A-Tool® program.

Related Posts