Preparing a Winter Emergency Kit For Your Car

Winter DrivingWith the change in temperature the last few days, made me realize winter isn’t far off , so I thought it would be prudent and timely to share with you a quick post on preparing an emergency kit for your car.

In the age of good highways, sophisticated cars, and ever-present cell phones, we worry less than ever about the hazards of winter driving. We shouldn’t be so flippant about the risks of winter travel. While the stories of individuals lost in winter storms or trapped or sliding off the road and being trapped in their cars overnight are far less frequent than they once were, we can all be better prepared by simply packing a winter essentials kit in our cars.

Preparation Is Essential

Keep a bag stocked and always present in your trunk or in the cargo compartment just in case of emergency. Purchase a bag expressly for this purpose or simply use a cardboard box, an old travel bag, or a couple of canvas grocery bags. Kits should include, at minimum:

•Winter coat, hat, and gloves; ideally a blanket (or more than one) as well
•First-aid kit
•Some non-perishable food such as granola bars, or crackers; even just some hard candy can help
•Strike anywhere matches in a water-tight container or lighter you can also use your cars cigarette lighter if your car has one.
•Candles and an empty coffee can to melt snow; a cup is a good idea as well
•Flashlight with extra batteries or crank flashlight.
•Small tool kit or at least an all purpose tool
•Shovel
•Small bag if sand, salt or kitty litter
•Jumper cables
•Tire chains or Rim clamped spiked tire pads.
•flares or emergency reflective triangle

Important Tips

If you are forced off the road or simply have to wait out the worst of the storm, turn on your emergency flashers. Remember to carry your cell phone with you but realize you may not have service. Call for help if you can. Stay with your car. In your car you will be protected from the elements, you’ll stay near the highway, and you will be far more visible. Trying to go for help will only expose you to the elements and increase your chances of getting lost. You could easily be hit by another car if you attempt to walk alongside a highway. Run the engine only for about ten minutes per hour to heat the car and open a window slightly on the side opposite the wind for ventilation.

Be patient. Even in the most remote places, there will be other cars on the road and emergency personnel at work. You’ll be safe, and if you follow these simple suggestions, you’ll be comfortable while you wait for help.

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