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10 Must-Have Items for Your Car’s Winter Survival Kit

The odds of having a road-related emergency in the winter months is greater than any other season. It is also the most dangerous time to have an emergency as freezing temperatures can cause frostbite and hypothermia, leading to mental confusion, disorientation and even unconsciousness. Your car’s survival kit is key in keeping you safe on the road this winter so be sure to update it with these cold-weather necessities:

  1. Blanket – A warm blanket is a must for winter travel. Using a space blanket is ideal as they are lightweight, low-bulk, and easy to store, yet are effective in preventing heat loss from the body. Additionally, the reflective metallic-like surface flashes in the sun allowing double use as a locator-beacon during daylight hours.
  2. Snow shovel – A short-handled snow shovel is easiest to store in in the trunk in the event you need to remove snow from around the tires of your vehicle. Plastic ones will do the job, but the best option is metal in case there is heavily compacted snow or ice surrounding the tire.
  3. Hand warmers – These can be found at your local dollar store or where camping goods are sold. Simply crack/smash the bag to create a chemical reaction inside that provides warmth for cold hands and feet.
  4. Food/Water – Keeping protein bars and bottles of water your the car will be much easier than looking for catsup packs that may have fallen in between the seats if you get hungry!
  5. Flares – These are a necessity for any vehicle emergency kit regardless of the season. Placing lit flares next to your car signals an emergency while channeling traffic around the disabled vehicle. Flares can be used day or night, in all weather and can be seen at great distances but are not so distracting that they will disorient passing drivers.
  6. Flashlight – A waterproof flashlight is best. Be sure to replace batteries and keep candles and matches available as a secondary source of light.
  7. Lightsticks – Lightweight and durable, these are another inexpensive Dollar Store find that can be used as a light source or as an emergency signal device.
  8. Whistle – A whistle can often be heard in instances when a human voice can not if calling for help. Whistles also require less physical energy to use.
  9. Window Scraper – Indispensible tool to clear your windshield and all your car glass when conditions get cold, and precipitation makes seeing particularly challenging.
  10. Cell Phone – Never leave home without it!