Just like a first aid kit for your home, an emergency kit for your car is an essential, and will give you added peace of mind this winter and holiday season. An emergency kit is something every vehicle should have but is especially important if you do a lot of winter driving. Not are you more likely to have an accident or become stranded in winter, you are also more likely to become stuck in dangerous freezing temperatures. Hopefully you will never be in a situation where you need your emergency kit, but you will feel better just having it ready.
Items to Have in Your Winter Emergency Kit:
Flashlight (and extra batteries)
Cell phone charger
Kitty litter (or salt or sand)
Roadside markers, flares, and fire extinguisher
The kitty litter can be used under your tires to gain traction in the snow and ice. Salt and sand will also work for this purpose. Roadside triangle markers, flares and fire extinguishers can be purchased separately or bundled into kits from most automotive stores. There should be enough food in your emergency kit to last 72 hours, enough for each person who typically rides together in the vehicle. Many stores and brands sell complete freeze-dried and other non-perishable meals intended specifically for emergency situations. Use these, and/or mix and match individual food items. Keep in mind that if you are truly stranded, you may need more than snacks. Keep basic nutritional goals in mind, be sure to pack lots of protein, and be mindful of any special dietary needs for individuals with health issues.
You can buy affordable pre-packaged emergency kits but oftentimes the quality of items will be better if you compile them yourself. You may of course add more items to fit your unique needs – Baby formula or important medications, for instance. It is easy to feel a sense of false security in our modern society where we are always connected. Put together your safety kit as if you may be unreachable for awhile. Picture yourself in a worst-case situation and compile a list of whatever you might need in that circumstance. This way, you and your family will be prepared for any vehicular emergency.