We all know winter can bring some tough driving weather. Whether you are just driving to work or cross-country to visit relatives, winter safety is top priority. Here are some great tips for a car safety kit.
Be ready for the snow and ice
As a bare minimum, pack supplies for scraping ice and getting an emergency tow. You’ll need a small shovel, scraper, and snow brush. If you’re ever stuck, a tow rope and tire chains help. To help with grip, pack salt, sand, or cat litter. For frozen locks, get some WD-40.
Do your own basic repairs
Keep all-purpose supplies for basic repairs in your trunk. You’ll need an extra tire, jack and lug wrench. For engine fluids, include extra antifreeze, windshield washer fluid and engine oil. Keep jumper cables, work gloves, and hand cleaner along with your roadside assistance numbers.
Find a way to communicate for help
To contact emergency responders, record accident details, or flag down other motorists, pack a whistle, solar cell phone charger, pen and paper, and a disposable camera or cell camera. Don’t forget emergency roadside numbers or contact information.
Use light to alert others
You’ll want to make sure other vehicles can see you on the road to prevent collisions. Plus, emergency lights can be used to flag down help. For safety, include a wind up flashlight, a warning light, hazard triangles for the road, and road flares.
Keep warm in the cold
It gets cold quickly in your car! Pack a wool blanket since it will keep you warm even if it’s damp. If you have less storage space, pack a reflective survival blanket. Include an extra hat, gloves and a change of clothes and shoes. Also consider chemical heat packs. Keep your car warm with a smokeless candle in a deep can and a waterproof container for matches.
Pack extra food and water
You can’t predict how long you might be stranded in your vehicle. Staying hydrated and having food is very important! Choose items with a long shelf life like energy bars. Avoid the high-sugar high-salt bars that can make you thirsty. Aim for a few 500-600 calorie bars to keep you going for a while.
For water, you can keep refillable plastic containers and water purification tablets (so you can safely drink melted snow), or store drink-box style cases of water that have a 5-year shelf life.
Have emergency medical supplies
Include a complete First Aid kit with a seatbelt cutter. You can get these kits at most hardware stores. Also make sure to include wet wipes, hand sanitizer, plastic bags, and even a small portable bedpan may be useful. Finally, if you require medication, pack an emergency dose in your kit.
Have you ever been stranded in your car in bad weather? What emergency supplies do you keep on hand? Please share your tips in the comments below!