If you are driving through rough winter weather, be sure to have these ten things in your vehicle winter emergency kit in case something goes wrong.
If you are taking a road trip during the winter, it is best to be prepared for bad weather. Often times when people get stuck in a storm they were not expecting it. I know the one time I got stuck in a storm I was stunned. I had only lived in the Pacific Northwest for a few months and I had no experience with the types of storms that can happen here. Noah was less than 2 years old and we found ourselves stuck on a highway for hours. I didn’t worry the first couple of hours, thinking that traffic would clear. But as time went by without making any progress at all, I became more and more concerned. I was ill prepared, but was lucky because I just happen to pack some much needed items. I had food and blankets in the car and a cell phone. After that trip, I decided that I would always be over prepared. You just never know what can happen, especially during the winter months. Here are the items I know carry in my car in case of a winter emergency.
10 Things Needed In A Vehicle Winter Emergency Kit
1. Blanket and Gloves/Hats
This is the first thing that every car should have. If you have to change a tire or put on a new serpentine belt in the cold, having a pair of gloves and warm clothes is important. It is also good to have these items for your passengers. If the heater stops for any reason, your passengers will need to be kept warm while you deal with the emergency. A rain poncho and boots can come in handy as well.
2. Flashlight and Extra Batteries
Regardless of the emergency, having a flashlight can help solve any nighttime problem. From trying to find something under the seat to changing a tire, having the ability to see what you are doing is invaluable. Also, donít forget extra batteries for your flashlight/extra radio/tire inflater. Having the batteries to keep everything in working order is vital! Order the exact flashlight I use.
3. Folding Shovel and Scraper
Having a scraper in your car for winter is obvious, but it is always good to have an extra one. Some of them are poorly made can easily break. Also, having differing designs will allow you to use one for its better scraper and another for its brush attachment. Having a shovel can help dig you out if you get stuck. They can also come in handy if you return home a to snow-covered driveway. Shovels can be purchased in different designs from one that folds up to others that have retractable handles. Order a folding shovel.
4. Flat Tire Kit
Most cars carry a spare somewhere on the vehicle, but do you have the tools to change the tire? Also, it is important to keep some sort of inflation device and sealant. You never know what kind of problem you will encounter with tires. Whether you need to patch it or change it, the necessary tools will make or break the operation. Order a flat tire kit.
5. Jumper Cables
This one is actually important to have in the vehicle year-round, but it is especially important during winter time. Nobody wants to be caught in the cold with a drained battery. Order jumper cables.
6. Safety Vest and Reflective Triangle/Road Flares
Depending on where you live, the number of safety items that you carry in your car may need to be larger. A reflective triangle lets approaching vehicles know to use caution, but it may be better to use road flares if you are in a storm or on a winding road. The reflective safety vest makes you more visible to other vehicles as well and should be worn in any emergency situation where you need to get out of your vehicle on the roadside. Having a few orange cones in your vehicle isnít a bad idea either. Order a safety vest and reflective triangles.
7. Tool Kit
You would be surprised how useful it is to have a basic tool kit. Having screwdrivers, hand-pliers, a utility knife, a pocket tool, etc. can help you with any emergency. With everything being frozen, basic maintenance tasks can become difficult and the leverage of tools becomes important. You can also keep some other basic items like fuses, clean rags, and a tire gauge in your kit too. Order a small tool kit.
8. First Aid Kit
This one should really be number one on this list. Every vehicle should have a basic first aid kit all of the time, regardless of what season it is. Make sure to carry a large variety of items too. It is better to have a wide variety of items for different situations than it is to have one large box of Band-Aids. Order a first aid kit.
9. A Tow Rope
You never know when you are going to need a tow in the snow. Make sure the tow rope is long enough (12-feet is plenty). Also, when purchasing a rope, check to see the weight capacity of the rope. 4500-6500 pounds should be fine depending on the size of your vehicle. Order a tow rope.
10. Non-Perishable Food
For most people, eating is not a priority in the middle of an emergency. However, emergencies can sometime last longer than one might think. Having food on-hand can be necessary if things take longer than you expected. Your passengers might also appreciate having it while you are solving the emergency.
Many of the items listed above can be found at your local hardware store. If you have difficulty finding some of these items, check with military/government surplus stores.
Hopefully you will never have to use any of these items, but it is important to be prepared if some emergency should happen. As they say, Better Safe than Sorry!
Do you think there’s another item drivers should carry in case of an emergency? Please leave your suggestion in the comments below.