Emergency Car Kit for Winter

— Written By Shae King
en Español

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Growing up, my father always stressed the importance of being prepared for emergencies. He would say “If you stay ready, you won’t have to get ready”. I would brush him off and assume he was just being a dad, but now that I’m older, his wise words of preparedness have stuck with me.

Emergencies can strike at any moment and any place. It’s always best to prepare for the worst case scenario, especially during the cold winter months by having a emergency car kit. Anything can happen! You may run out of gas, get a flat tire, get caught in a snowstorm, or even become stranded. A car emergency kit will be able to help you get back on the road safety and quickly. Lastly, always make sure to keep your gas tank near full to avoid the risk of running out of gas. Doing so also prevents the risk of potential gas line freeze ups.

When creating a winter car kit, be sure to include the following supplies:

  • Non-Perishable Food
  • Water
  • Jumper cables
  • Flares or reflective triangle
  • Ice scraper
  • First-Aid Kit
  • Flashlight & Batteries
  • Whistle
  • Car cell phone charger
  • Blanket/Mittens/Change of clothes
  • Map
  • Cat litter or sand (for better tire traction)

Don’t forget to prepare your car as well! Before traveling, ensure your vehicle has received a proper inspection and have a mechanic check your car for the following:

  • Antifreeze levels
  • Battery and ignition system
  • Brakes
  • Exhaust system
  • Fuel and air filters
  • Heater and defroster
  • Lights and flashing hazard lights
  • Oil
  • Thermostat
  • Windshield wiper equipment and washer fluid level

For more information on winter weather safety tips and car emergency kits, visit Ready.gov

Checklist and Tips for Safe Winter Driving provided by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).