Having an emergency kit for your car is a good idea in all seasons. For cold-weather drivers, though, having a winter car emergency kit is especially important. So making sure you’ve got the right items in your kit is a must. We’re here to help. First off a box or sturdy bag will keep everything in one place. After that, what’s in your kit is a matter of choice, but we have a few suggestions that may help:
We consider these “must-haves” for a winter car emergency kit. The kind of simple items that could, literally, save your life in a winter emergency.
- Small LED Flashlight – an essential part of any emergency kit.
- A Cell Phone Charger – a cell phone can be a lifeline in an emergency. Make sure it stays charged.
- A Simple Tool Kit – a small case with a wrench, pliers, screwdriver, multi-tool, duct tape, and other small manual tools could prove incredibly helpful.
- First Aid Kit – make sure you have the ability to treat minor injuries with a small portable first aid kit.
- Hat, Gloves, and A Blanket – if you’re stuck without a heater in the winter these items may just save your life while you wait for help.
- A Candle and Lighter – an unscented candle inside a metal container (say an empty coffee can or an empty, unused paint can) can make a surprisingly effective makeshift heater in the event of getting stuck in the winter.
These are car-specific needs. In fact, some of these are items that smart drivers keep in their cars regardless of the season.
- Car Fire Extinguisher – no explanation needed.
- Jumper Cables – always a smart choice to keep a set in the car.
- Portable Air Compressor – useful for low or flat tires.
- Fix-A-Flat – a good quick, temporary fix.
- Safety Absorbent or Regular Clay Cat Litter – helpful for traction on snow or ice.
- Foldable Shovel – a helpful tool to dig out from deep snow or mud.
Other Handy Items
While maybe not “lifesaving”, these helpful items will always have a place in our emergency kits.
- Notepad and Paper – especially helpful in an accident situation where recording information is a necessity.
- “Escape” Tool – these small tools, built to break car windows and cut seatbelts, have become a staple in many automotive safety kits.
- Snacks and Water – things like granola or protein bars and bottled water come in handy if you’re stuck for a long amount of time (emptying bottles a third of the way will keep them from bursting if the water freezes).
- Backup fluids – if safely stored extra wiper fluid, oil, or antifreeze could come in handy in a pinch.
- Roofing shingles – a couple of these make for an easily storable traction aid when stuck.
- Maps and Atlases – to help you find your way!
As you can see, a winter car emergency kit is another helpful tool for cold-weather driving. One last tip is to make sure you’re car is prepared for winter! Come see us at any of our six locations across Nebraska to help get your car in shape for cold-weather driving. Or contact us at eustisbodyshop.com if you have any questions.