Winter weather can be volatile and dangerous, especially for drivers who are forced to navigate slick, icy roads. When temperatures are especially cold, even a minor breakdown can quickly turn into a life-threatening situation. To protect yourself and your loved ones from potentially serious consequences, equip your vehicle with the following cold weather emergency items.
- Jumper Cables: Dead batteries are a common occurrence during the winter. Make sure you have a way to charge yours if the need arises.
- Folding Shovel: By acting as a pick, an ax or a shovel, these tools provide multiple benefits for stranded drivers.
- First Aid Kit: Even a minor accident can result in serious lacerations and other injuries. Add a small first aid kit to your glove box, so you’ll be ready to treat potential injuries.
- Food and Water: If your vehicle slides off the road in the wrong place, you could be stranded for days. Be sure you have food and water available and always ration as best you can.
- Sand Bag: These provide extra weight, which can help your car escape a slippery road. By sprinkling some sand beneath a stuck tire, you can also supply much-needed traction.
- Tow Chain: A high-tension rope or snow chain can help you escape a snow bank.
- Blanket: The interior of a stranded car can get cold quickly. A blanket will help you capture body heat and stay warm until help arrives.
- Flashlight: Make sure you have a way to see after the sun goes down and add extra batteries just to be safe.
- Emergency Triangle or Bright Clothing: If you get stranded, you’ll need a way to flag down passing motorists. These items can also make your vehicle more noticeable, so other cars won’t accidentally hit you.
- Candle and Matches: Even a small candle can generate enough heat to warm the interior of a car. Just be sure you have plenty of matches to keep the flame alive.
- Pocket Knife: Indispensable during an emergency, pocket knives are a must for any emergency kit.
- Flares: During a blizzard, it’s almost impossible to see a stranded vehicle. Improve your odds drastically with some simple road flares.
In addition to these potentially-lifesaving items, be sure you have a cellphone charging device in your vehicle. Likewise, never set off in cold weather when your mobile phone battery is depleted.