No one likes to think about getting into an emergency situation, particularly when you’re driving. The truth is, though, the winter months are a dicey time for drivers between the questionable weather and the omnipresent danger of black ice. There’s also the possibility of a sudden snowstorm blowing up and wreaking havoc with your travels.
Whether you’re waiting for a tow truck or a rescue team, having an emergency kit for your vehicle is critical for helping to keep your family safe. You never know when the rescue crew will be able to make their way to you. Having the winter emergency car kit can go a long way towards maintaining your level of comfort in frigid temperatures as well as enhancing your survival.
Your Winter Emergency Car Kit Should Include These 10 Items
1. Jumper cables
Of course, these are a must-have for any car. Jumper cables are an immediate solution for battery issues. Make sure they are long enough to reach almost any vehicle’s engine. Twelve feet is thought to be long enough for most people; of course, these are available at any hardware store. Better yet, but more expensive, is something like the DieHard Automatic Battery Jump Starter which allows you to jump start your car without waiting for another car to come along.
If you’re stuck at night, you’ll need a light source. Whether it’s a flashlight or head lamp light, you will need some light to see what sort of mess you’re exactly in.
A shovel, and a multi-tool will prove invaluable if you’re in an emergency situation on the roadside. The shovel can help if you’re stuck in snow or ice. The multi-tool can perform a wide range of duties, from cutting to screwing things into place.
4. Tow Rope
A tow rope can help someone with a truck to be able to pull you back on the road. This is handy if you slid off in the snow and you don’t want to wait around for a tow truck.
5. First Aid Kit
If you’re injured, every second counts. You need to treat an injury immediately, otherwise shock could set in and irreparable damage to your wound site could occur. Ensuring you have a well-stocked first aid kit – including bandages, rubbing alcohol, safety pins, tape, ace bandages, soap, sanitary pads (they make great bandages – self-adhesive and very absorbent), and pain relievers – will save you a lot of time if you or someone else is injured on the road.
You can use this winter emergency car kit list compile your own car kit. Or most store bought car emergency kits will have these first 5 suggestions.
These last 5 items are good to add to a store bought winter emergency car kit. Most prepared kits don’t plan for what if you are cold, hungry, or thirsty while you are waiting for help.
You can last a week without food, but if you’re going to be stranded without water, you’ll become dehydrated fairly quickly. Particularly if you’re trying to exert yourself to get yourself out of the dilemma you’re in. Dehydration, particularly if left to extremes, causes organ failure and ultimately death. Always ensure you have some clean drinking water that’s accessible in your vehicle.
While you certainly can go without food for longer than you can go without water, having a source of food handy in your emergency kit is always a good idea. If you’re stranded for longer than a few hours, eating a granola bar or a high-calorie protein bar will give your body the energy it needs to either continue to survive or work towards your survival. In addition, pack a roll of candies as well; if you’re diabetic, popping a candy or two can go a long way towards leveling out your blood sugars levels.
If you don’t have a candle, you could certainly create flame thanks to a book of matches. They can light your properly constructed campfire and provide warmth and cooking ability if required.
It goes without saying if you’re stranded in the winter, warmth is critical, if nothing else because it will help keep your morale up. If you’ve sustained an injury, wrapping yourself in a blanket will keep your core body temperature up and make you better equipped to handle shock if it sets in.
10. Big garbage bags
If you don’t have rain gear, big garbage bags will go a long way to keeping you dry. Simply cut a hole large enough for your head to fit through and some arm holes, and you’ve got a ready-made poncho that will keep you reasonably dry. Garbage bags can also work as a bottom layer should you need to make a shelter and keep your bottom dry.
Whether you’re traveling less than a mile from home or on an extended road trip, having a winter emergency car kit in your car is an essential component of safe car travel during the cold months of the year. Not only does having one provide some much-needed peace of mind in the event of something disastrous occurring, it also helps you when the chips are down and you’re waiting for a tow truck or rescue team to come find you. The nice thing is, none of these items are terribly expensive; why not do some shopping and secure some peace of mind? Also, make sure to use winter car care tips to prepare your car for running in colder conditions.
What do you keep in your car for emergencies?