Do You Have Emergency Winter Supplies For Your Car?

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Winter car prepIt’s a good idea to carry emergency winter supplies for your car, especially if you’re doing any traveling. Now, I know you’re not going to see snow in Miami, but I do remember snow in Charleston, South Carolina when I lived there. I think its better to embrace your inner girl scout and be prepared. We’ve had our share of bitter cold weather, which is unusual for Seattle, so having an emergency car kit has been on my mind.

Of course, where you live will determine what emergency winter supplies you keep in your car, but you should consider most of these things if you will be driving where there is inclement weather.

Emergency winter supplies you should consider packing in your car.

a small shovel
windshield scraper and small broom
flashlight with extra batteries – also a headlamp because it’s hands free
packaged food including energy bars, dried fruit etc.
extra hats, socks and mittens/gloves
first aid kit with OTCs and other meds
blankets or sleeping bag
tow chain or rope
road salt, sand, or cat litter for traction
booster cables
emergency flares (only if you know how to use them!)
reflective flag and whistle
cell phone adapter to plug into lighter, plus a charger brick
seatbelt cutter/window punch tool – keep near driver seat (thanks to a fan for this tip! )

Winter Emergency Car Kit

Keep your emergency kit in your passenger compartment or make sure you can access your trunk from your car. It doesn’t do you any good if you can’t get into your trunk because it’s frozen shut. I am a throw it all in a laundry basket bin type of girl – with no lid. You want to be able to quickly glance at your emergency supplies and see if anything needs to be replaced or replenished.

Make sure your snacks can be eaten warm or cold and have some nutrition. Have plenty of water too. I like Boxed Water because not only do the paper water cartons fit neatly in my kit, but the foil lining of the cartons keeps the water tasting fresh.

When traveling don’t let your gas tank get too low – you don’t want to get stranded. It’s also important toi let someone know where you are going and what route you are planning on taking, plus when you expect to arrive.

If you are in an accident and need to call 911, clearly provide your location, condition of everyone in the vehicle and the problem you’re experiencing. Listen to the operator and do not hang up until they’ve given you instructions on what to expect or what to do.

If you must leave your vehicle during an emergency write down your name, address, phone number and destination. Place the piece of paper inside the front windshield for someone to see – this is where those old cardboard sunshades come in handy! It’s best to stay in your vehicle – only leave if you have to!

If you are parked on the side of the road, tie a reflective flag to your antenna or hang it out of the window. At night, keep your dome light on so rescue workers can see it. To reduce wasting your car battery, only use emergency flashers only if you hear approaching vehicles. If you’re not traveling alone, sleep in shifts so one person can keep an eye out for help.

Be careful if you have to shovel snow away from your car’s exhaust system. Shoveling snow can cause you to overexert yourself so be careful! Make sure you only run your engine about 10 minutes an hour. It’s far better to be cold and awake than warm and sleepy in emergency situations.

When traveling in winter conditions, it’s good to play things smart. Don’t go out in it unless you have too, you’re safer at home. It’s better to stay put than put others at risk.

Do you have emergency winter supplies for your car? Use this checklist as a guide and be prepared.

About Kerri Jablonski

Kerri Jablonski AKA The Maven lives in Seattle,WA with her 3 kids (2008, 2010, 2013), husband, cats and backyard chickens. Two of her children have special needs. Kerri enjoys cooking, travel, movies and spending time with her family.

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