What to Pack in Your Car BEFORE an Evacuation

Keeping your car well-stocked with emergency items will save you time if you ever need to evacuate. This article is not about what to do during an evacuation. It’s about getting your car ready beforehand. Don’t expect shelters to be up and running when you arrive. Your car may be the place you sleep and hang out for several days.

My car has many compartments and pockets to store items in. Here is the printable list of the items I chose to keep in my car. An asterisk means it’s also an item you could keep in a grab-and-go bag too. I put several items in Ziploc bags or pencil pouches, and put them throughout my car.




  • Sunglasses
  • Cell phone wall charger (the cord is plugged into the car USB port: however, I want the wall charger in case I need it at an evacuation facility.)
  • Gum or mints
  • Hand sanitizer (store away from direct sunlight)
  • Mittens
  • Cash & coins (small bills)


Groom Me Pouch:

Feed Me Pouch

Communications Pouch

ACTIVITY POCKETS behind driver/passenger seats (People get bored at evacuation shelters, so keep some activity items in your car that don’t require electricty.)


Since fire extinguishers don’t last forever, put a reminder on your Google calendar to have it checked a year from now. Never try not to tackle a fire that is large or out of control.

WHEELED DUFFEL BAG, BACKPACK OR CARRY-ON BAG (Use any size that fits in your car. Put heavy items towards the bottom. I prefer something with wheels.


C.E.R.T. BACKPACK (Community Emergency Response Team). You’ ll recognize these search and rescue items if you’ve been CERT trained. Everyone should be CERT trained and CPR trained. Become part of the solution.

Wow! That took some time to put together. And please don’t think my car is all ready. I’ve still got some work to do.

Do I have sleepless nights worrying about evacuations? No. But it feels soooo good to get this idea moving forward. I hope you’ll find something useful in this post to help you prepare your car for an evacuation. And I hope you never ever, EVER have to evacuate.

Best wishes,

Valerie Albrechtsen

The Food Storage Organizer

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