16 Essentials for Your Winter Emergency Car Kit
It’s critical to have proper tools and supplies in your vehicle in the event of an unpredictable pit stop. While we’d all like to avoid getting stranded or stuck, life happens and it’s best to be prepared.
Build your own emergency car kit specifically for your climate and passenger needs. Organize your kit in a plastic bin in your trunk and take into consideration children, elderly family members and pets as you pack food, water and medicine.
For this time of year in many locations, include winter emergency supplies for snow and ice conditions. While these items are unnecessary during summer months, there are plenty of other helpful items that should remain in your vehicle year round. Pack what makes most sense for you and your weather.
Emergency Car Kit:
- First Aid Kit – The American Red Cross has tips for how to make your own kit.
- Jumper Caebels
- Flares or triangle reflectors – These will make you visible to other drivers.
- Tire pressure gauge – Tire pressure is crucial to tire and vehicle performance. According to Cooper Tires, tire pressure decreases one pound per square inch for every 10-degree drop in outside air temperature.
- Flashlight or headlamp with extra batteries – In addition to lighting your vehicle, a light will make you visible to other drivers.
- Gas Off cleaning wipes – Easily removes gasoline and diesel from hands, clothes, equipment and more.
- Towel or rags
- Non-perishable food – Granola bars and trail mix don’t require preparation and hold up well over time.
- Drinking water – Pack more if you drive through a hot or dry climate.
- Basic toolkit – screwdrivers, pliers, wrench, pocket knife, pen and paper.
- Shovel – There are numerous collapsible shovels that are ideal for compact storage.
- Cat litter, rock salt or sand – Dig out snow with your shovel from around your tires and pour litter in front of your tires. For a complete step-by-step guide, visit WikiHow.
- Ice scraper brush
- Blanket or space blanket
- Cell phone charger
- Winter clothes – Pack extra boots, hats, gloves, jackets and whatever else you might need in case you are stranded in the cold or at night.
Regularly check your kit to be sure everything is up to date and in working order. Before your next road trip, fill your gas tank and check your oil, transmission and antifreeze levels. It is also recommended to review the weather and road conditions ahead of time. For more car safety information, visit https://www.ready.gov/car.