Winter Preparedness | Car Emergency Kit

Last Updated on August 14, 2020 by Ellen Christian

If you’ve been watching the news lately, you’ve probably seen that Winter Storm Damon is hammering the East Coast right now. For those to the south, that means a lot of rain. For people in the northern areas, like me, that means a lot of snow and ice. The best thing to do when you have a lot of snow and ice on the road is to stay at home. Unfortunately, there are times you have to go out – like when you need to get your son from work.

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Winter Preparedness | Car Emergency Kit

Winter Preparedness | Car Emergency Kit

My son got his first job and his first day of training was last Wednesday – which also happened to be the day that Winter Storm Damon hit our area. It began as ice and quickly turned to snow – a lot of snow. In our little community, the snow plows stop running after dinner which I think is the dumbest policy in the world.

Prepare For Emergency Financial Needs When Far From Home

What that means is that when I had to get my son from his job at 8 pm, the roads were horrible. I live on a dirt road that is off a windy, paved road that is off our Main Street. When even Main Street isn’t well plowed, you can imagine what my road is like. Actually, you can see our road in the picture below. What would have been a 7-minute ride to get him from work took me 30 minutes – going 15 miles an hour or less.

Working from home on a snow day

As I watched the cars in front of me skid all over the place, I prayed we didn’t end up in an accident and I said a silent thank you prayer for the fact that we had a car emergency kit in the trunk just in case we did. What you have in your car emergency kit for winter preparedness will depend on where you live and your level of car repair skill. If you have no car repair skill (like me) make sure you get AAA to come fix the flat, tow you out, charge the battery, etc. Learn how to prepare for emergency financial needs.

Winter Preparedness | Car Emergency Kit

Yes, this is really my trunk. Excuse the mess. That’s how we bring the hay home for the ducks and chickens. This is what I generally keep in my car emergency kit:

  • Road flares
  • First aid kit
  • Oil, jumper cables, anti-freeze, jack to change the tire
  • Blanket (or solar thermal blanket)
  • Flashlight with batteries or crank flashlight
  • Cat litter (to put under the tires for traction if you get stuck)
  • Ice scraper
  • Bottled water
  • Energy bars or granola bars
  • Collapsible snow shovel
  • Extra gloves and dry socks
  • Duct tape (you never know)
  • Ice scraper
  • AAA card and cell phone
  • Car cell phone charger

Also, I will give you the best advice my Dad ever gave me. NEVER go out for a drive wearing anything less than you would need to wear if the car broke down and you needed to walk home. That means wear boots, bring gloves and a hat and wear your winter jacket. I don’t care if you’re going 5 minutes down the road. You won’t want to walk back home in your slippers/sneakers, yoga pants and hoodie when it’s 10F outside. Don’t wait till you need it, start putting together this car emergency kit today.

Check out this post on how to get car doors unstuck if you find your doors are frozen shut.


14 thoughts on “Winter Preparedness | Car Emergency Kit”

  1. We've only had one bad snow day, so far, but it's coming. #sigh I really need to restock some of this stuff, from last winter being so terrible. Thanks for the great tips!
  2. I still have the habit of keeping extra clothes and shoes in my trunk from those snowy Denver years. In California the earthquakes mandate some emergency preparedness too though so great list. From experience, I would add some sort of product (mine is a Go Girl, kept always in my glove box) when you just have to go and it's too dangerous to stop. In snowy Denver weather it took me several hours to get home from work one time and I lost time and it was dangerous having to get off on an exit to go find a bathroom. On a crowded freeway, in the dark, inching along in the snow for hours, there is just no place to go! Some sort of other container with a cap is also needed, but you get it, lol
  3. Great suggestions. We're in Iowa, so they all apply to us also. I would add to make sure you have a phone with a GPS/map app on it so you can tell people exactly where you are.
  4. This is a great list! I don't live in the North, but here in the South it is scarier when we get snow than when I lived in the mountains and we had it 7-8 months a year. They are not prepared for it here nor are the drivers, which is scary in itself. These are great things to have with you and have come in handy for me more than once! Kitty litter is a must :)
  5. This is so important! Thank you for a great list. We don't get a ton of snow in the Pacific Northwest but it is always best to be prepared because when it does hit our area is SO not ready.
  6. I have one of these in my trunk for so occasions. I got stuck in traffic and on the road for 6 hours last year int he snow. So i'm glad I had a chance of clothes and other things. I think your list is great! My kit is lacking a few of the items you mentioned, now I must fix that. Thanks for sharing!

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