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It's cold out be prepared!

Posted: January 29, 2019

Winter is truly here with temps in the double digits below zero stay inside keep warm and make sure you prepare yourself with a winter car emergency kit in case something happens.

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Winter Driving

Keep the following supplies in your winter car emergency kit. In fact, we always say to prepare for the worst case scenario, especially in wintertime!

Emergencies can happen to anyone. Whether you run out of fuel, puncture a tire, or slip off a snowy road, keep a car emergency kit on-hand to help you get back on the road safely and quickly.

In addition to the items listed below, a cell phone is highly advised. Make sure your cell phone is charged every time you get in the car and keep a cell phone charger in your car.


Snowy Roads

Keep the below items in a bag in your trunk. Ideally, we’d suggest a clear, plastic container so it’s easy to see and locate everything. You can buy a pre-packaged kit or create your own.

Minimum Supplies:

  • Flashlight, plus extra batteries (or a hand-crank flashlight)

  • Jumper cables

  • First-aid kit (band-aides, adhesive tape, antiseptic wipes, gauze pads, antiseptic cream, medical wrap). See a first-aid kit checklist.

  • Bottled water

  • Multi-tool (such as a Leatherman Tool or a Swiss Army Knife)

  • Road flares or reflective warning triangles

Additional Items for Winter Driving:

For us in this wintry tundra, add the below items to your emergency kit.

  • Blankets, gloves, hats

  • Ice scraper

  • Collapsible or folding snow shovel

  • A bag of sand to help with traction (or bag of kitty litter)

  • Blanket

  • Tire chains and tow strap

  • Hand warmers

  • Winter boots for longer trips

  • Sleeping bag for longer trips


Winter Driving
  • Keep your gas tank filled above halfway to avoid a gas line freeze-up.

  • Make sure tires are properly inflated.

  • Beware of black ice. Roads may look clear, but they may still be slippery.

  • Stuck on the ice without sand or cat litter? In a pinch, you can take the floor mats out of your car, place them next to the tires, and slowly inch the car onto and across the mats.

  • Make sure windows are defrosted and clear. And be sure to clear snow and ice from the top of the vehicle! Gently rub a small, moistened, cloth bag of iodized salt on the outside of your windshield to prevent the ice and snow from sticking.

  • To restore proper windshield wiper blade action, smooth the rubber blades with fine sandpaper to remove any grit and pits.

  • Fog-proof your mirrors and the inside of your windshields with shaving cream. Spray and wipe it off with paper towels.

  • Avoid driving when you have the flu, which can reduce your reaction time almost six times as much as moderate alcohol intake.

The Old Farmers Almanac
See more cold-weather tips provided by AAA.
The National Safety Council