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  • Writer's pictureAndrea Wenzel

Don't get Stranded in the Frigid Cold-Prepare your Car for Winter NOW!

Updated: Nov 29, 2022

It's just another Friday afternoon. The snow is starting to fall, but it doesn't look like much snow is sticking to the roads. You're heading home from work, and suddenly, the traffic suddenly stops. It seems like a bad accident. The roads may be a bit slicker than you initially thought. There's no telling how many hours you might sit in traffic, and you start to wonder if anyone is seriously injured or worse. Are you prepared?

Cat litter or a bag of sand

Sprinkle it in front or behind your tires to help you gain traction if you're stuck.

Food and water

You never know how long a roadside emergency will last. Getting caught in a terrible storm means others likely are too. You might be one of many people waiting for a tow truck. Always rotate your emergency food kit every six months to ensure maximum freshness.

Foldable shovel

Sometimes you have to dig yourself out of a snowbank. An excellent foldable shovel will be a fantastic addition to your snow emergency kit.

Disposable Hand warmers

Your hands and feet are the furthest from your heart. This means that in a cold weather emergency, they are the most at risk from the cold. Put a couple of hand warmers in your boots and mittens to protect them.

Mylar blankets and sleeping bag

If you're stuck in the ditch for a few hours, you might as well be comfortable and warm doing so.

First Aid Kit/Trauma Kit

You'll want a comprehensive medical kit if a winter emergency causes trauma or injury. Uncontrolled bleeding could end in death. Learn more about how to stop the bleeding here.

Extra clothing

Think warm socks, hats, snow gear, gloves, etc. If you must wear dressy shoes to the office, leave a pair of warm boots in your trunk if you're stranded.

A full gas tank

A half-full gas tank should be considered E in cold weather months. Not only do you not want your gas tank to freeze, but you might also need to run your car for a bit to keep warm if you are stranded.

Ice scraper and snow brush

I don't have to explain this, but always check that you have one before heading out into wintery weather.

Change your windshield wiper fluid.

Purchase windshield wiper fluid that has de-icing chemicals in it.

Snow Tires

Good tires will make all the difference when the roads get icy.

Just Don't Drive!

If a winter weather storm comes in during work hours, it might be tempting to drive home in the afternoon. But if not, prepare yourself with the following in case travel is not safe.

Emergency cash

If conditions are too treacherous for travel, opt for a nearby hotel for the night instead. Keeping cash on hand will ensure you can check into a hotel near your workplace.

Overnight bag

If you can't miss a meeting at work the next day, pack clean clothing with you so that you can stay at a hotel or a co-worker's house if the weather is too dangerous.

Other essentials for general emergencies:

  • Small fire extinguisher specifically made for vehicles

  • Tire gauge to check tire pressure

  • Foam tire sealant and a kit to fix minor tire repairs

  • Tools for tire changes

  • Something to clean your hands with -baby wipes

  • Duct tape

  • Rain jacket

  • Battery– or hand-crank–powered radio

  • Lighter and matches (in a waterproof receptacle)

  • Paper maps in case your GPS fails

  • Jumper cables

  • Road flairs or cones

  • Flashlight and headlamp

  • Reflective safety vest

  • Busy bags for kids- coloring books, small toys, glowsticks, and other entertainment

If I forgot something, drop a comment below and let me know! Thanks for reading!


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