Saturday, November 22, 2014

Friday's Emergency Tip: Winter Car Kits

What I carry in my Jeep during the winter - I need to add 
another sleeping bag and more water & food...

All the reports of people stuck in their cars in Upstate New York and the Great Lakes area due to this week's freak snow storms got me thinking: 

"Are we ready to be stuck in our car for up to 24 hours?"

Winter Car Kits

You should always carry in your car some basic tools, a first aid kit, a flashlight, and your cell phone charger - but during the winter, it's time to ramp things up.

And I'm not saying you should rush out and go on a shopping spree at your local Army/Navy store. You probably have many of the following items already, just not in your car.

And they don't have to be in a huge duffle bag either - all the items shown above fit easily into my Jeep - by spreading all these things around and utilizing the spaces under seats and the corners of my trunk.

Here's a great list that I borrowed from MEMA that you can use to build your own kit:
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Charged cell phone/automobile charger
  • Basic first-aid kit
  • Necessary medications
  • Pocket knife
  • Blankets or sleeping bags
  • Extra clothes (include rain gear, boots, mittens, socks)
  • High-calorie, non-perishable foods (dried fruits, nuts, canned food)
  • Manual can opener
  • Container of water
  • Windshield scraper & brush
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Shovel
  • Sand/road salt/cat litter for generating traction
  • Tire chains or traction mats
  • Basic tool kit (pliers, wrench, screwdriver)
  • Tow rope
  • Battery jumper cables
  • Road flares/reflectors
  • Brightly colored cloth to utilize as a flag
  • Road maps
If you're missing an item or two, make a gift to yourself this month when you're holiday shopping, either at the mall or online!

For more tips on safe winter driving, visit the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) site.

Photo credit: Patrick W. O'Connor

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