10 ‘must haves’ in your car for in case of emergency this winter

This winter is one of the worst we’ve had in a while.  This January has already seen more snow in metropolitan Detroit than any other January on record. Even though Woody, Michigan’s version of Punxsutawney Phil, predicted an early spring, we created a list of things you must have in your car in case of emergency.  The first thing you need to do is make sure any necessary car service is taken care of and also make sure the gas tank is full at the beginning of any trip.

Here is our winter car emergency kit:

1. Phone charger or battery – An extra battery for your cell phone is a good idea, especially for those of us with smartphones that die quickly.

2. Hand warmers and matches – Both of these are great for making heat if you find yourself stuck in subzero temps.

3. Blankets – Blankets will provide an extra layer of warmth. You can also consider a sleeping bag.

4. Food– Protein snack bars and non-perishable food are a good options.

5. Water – Bottles of water are smart to have in the car all year long.

6. Shovel – Some stores sell smaller shovels that fit well in a trunk.

7. Flashlight/Flares – Pack a waterproof flashlight with extra batteries in case you find yourself stuck in a remote, dark location.  Flares could help you signal someone if you have no other way of communicating.

8. Ice scraper – Hopefully you already keep this in your car, but just in case, this is a must have in a snowstorm.

9. First aid kit – Another item that is smart to have all year long.

10. A bag of salt or sand – A bag of sand or salt can be helpful for two reasons, it can provide traction when trying to get unstuck as well as giving your car more weight in icy conditions.

We also have tips on what to do in a winter blackout at home.  Let us know if you have advice or a story about winter survival. Did we miss anything?

Photo credit: chedder 


Read 5 Comments

  1. Thank you for the helpful list. I currently have a “winter emergency kit” in my car. Your list had some items that I do not have. Thanks for posting.

  2. I add the makings of a small heater. 2 different sized terra cotta pots, a metal bread pan, tea light candles, matches and a board to put it all on for safety. 4 tea lights in the metal pan, cover with small pot and then large pot. It will add a significant amount of heat to the car. I live in the mountains so weather can surprise me.

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