Be Prepared This Winter! Pack an Emergency Kit.
Driving in snow can be unpredictable and sometimes dangerous; 17% of all car accidents occur in winter weather conditions! It is important to be prepared for whatever is thrown your way, whether you hit ice and slide into a ditch or your car breaks down. We recommend keeping a basic emergency kit in your car at all times so you are prepared if something happens. This list covers the basics on what you need!
Emergency Kit Essentials:
- First Aid Kit – A first-aid kit is something you should always keep in your car. While it won’t help with major medical issues, you can at least bandage any scrapes or cuts! If you are prescribed any medication, keep some labeled in your first aid kit in case you are stranded.
- Flashlight – It is really, really dark at night during a snow storm! Pack a good flashlight or headlamp in your emergency kit. This can be extremely useful if you need to work on your car in the dark. USB charging is a big plus on these!
- Ice Scraper – Your car’s defroster doesn’t always work as quickly or as well as it needs to. Put an ice scraper in your kit so you can clear your windshield in icy conditions. Low visibility through your windshield can be very dangerous!
- Jumper Cables – The rest of your car emergency kit isn’t much good if you can’t start the car! Jumper cables allow you to start your car with a dead battery using another car. These can be really helpful year-round. Just be sure you’re putting them on correctly, or you risk damaging the electrical components in your car.
- Snow Shovel – This one is pretty straightforward… If you are stuck in the snow, a snow shovel can help you get out. You don’t need a full size shovel in your emergency kit, smaller shovels are made for this specific purpose!
- Bag Of Cat Litter – The main reason cars get stuck in the snow is lack of traction. If you find yourself in a position where your tires are spinning on ice or snow you can simply sprinkle cat litter behind the tire to add traction! We recommend keeping at least a couple gallons bagged up, as you may go through a lot!
- Cell Phone Charger – Your phone is pretty much useless without a charge! Keep a car charger and a portable battery charged up in your car to be sure you’re never stuck with a dead phone. It’s also a good idea to keep your emergency contact numbers written down somewhere in your car, so you can still call them on someone else’s phone.
- Water – Dehydration can be a serious problem if you are stranded. Keep at least a gallon of water in your emergency kit. Keep in mind water expands when it is frozen, so if you’re filling your own container leave some room at the top.
- Blanket – Winter is cold! Pack at least one good, thick blanket to keep you warm if you need to stay in your car. If you have room for a second blanket, pack a tough one that you could lay on under your car if needed during repairs. Military wool blankets work well for everything.
- Tool Kit – Just like the first-aid kit, a basic tool kit can be useful year-round! From small repairs to tire changes, there are many uses for tools. If your car requires any special tools (European cars often use Torx bolts) be sure to pack those into your tool kit.
- Roadside Reflectors – Breaking down on the side of the road can put you at risk of being hit by passing drivers; especially in low visibilty scenarios like a winter storm! Roadside reflectors or road triangles help other drivers know where you are and that you may need assistance. They take up little room and are definitely a good item to keep with you.
- Non-Perishable Food – If you are stranded in your car, you will probably need an energy boost at some point. Keep non-perishable snacks such as granola bars, dehydrated fruits, and jerky in your emergency kit for that little extra energy kick! Don’t forget to rotate snacks out every few months so you are never stuck with bad food.
- Matches/Lighter – Matches or a lighter can provide you with some light and warmth in an emergency. Pack waterproof matches so they can’t be ruined by moisture. Disposable lighters such as a bic or clipper lighter are best as they won’t leak fluid and they work in cold conditions.
- Insulated Work Gloves – If you need to work on your car in the snow, you are probably going to want a good pair of gloves! Insulated work gloves are the best choice for an emergency kit. They will keep you warm and hold up to any abuse you throw at them.
This list should give you a good base to build your own emergency kit from! Winter driving can be treacherous so we hope this kit can help you this winter season! If you are reading this wishing you lived somewhere snowy, give us a call at (970) 507-8655 and we can help you find your Next Home in the mountains! Don’t forget to like us on Facebook for NextHome updates and our bi-weekly virtual open house series.