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7 Things You Need in Your Car’s Winter Emergency Kit

emergency vehicle equipment

What if you were in serious danger when you get behind the wheel this winter? 

You never know what could happen to you and your car during the changing seasons, especially if you don’t have roadside assistance. When you have to deal with factors like snow, ice, hail, and the occasional blizzard on the roads, it’s important to be ready for anything. 

Part of being ready means taking your car to your mechanic or dealer for an inspection to ensure there are no surprises as the temperatures drop. The inspection should include changing the oil, checking the antifreeze, inspecting the battery as well as the tires, and making sure your brakes are in good condition. Don’t forget to make sure your car insurance policy can handle anything that might happen if you are forced to drive in inclement conditions. 

Another part of staying safe on the roads this winter is making sure you are prepared for unexpected challenges by having the right car survival kit. What should go in that kit, though? Keep reading to find out! 

1. LED Flashlight 

In the event of an emergency, an LED flashlight is very important. So long as that flashlight has fresh batteries, it can really help you at night. 

For example, if you get into an accident at night, the light can help you see what is damaged and help you make repairs. Plus, you’ll be better able to determine whether you can fix things on your own (such as a flat tire) or if this roadside emergency requires professional help to get you off the street. Don’t forget that winter is when it is particularly important to practice defensive driving! 

2. A First-Aid Kit 

​If you do get into an accident, you or your passengers could be injured. That’s why it’s important that you have a good first-aid kit as part of your car’s emergency kit. 

What should these first aid kits contain? Basic medical supplies such as aspirin, antiseptic cream, curved scissors, bandages, band-aids, and cotton swabs. It’s always a good idea to add any other medical supplies you think you may need in an emergency situation. 

3. Cell Phone Charger 

In an emergency, the most important thing you have isn’t contained in your winter survival kit, and that’s your mobile phone. However, if you are stranded somewhere for a long time, you need to have the right supplies to keep that phone powered up. 

That’s why, for your own safety, you need to pack a cellphone charger. On older cars, such a charger might plug into your old cigarette lighter port. On newer vehicles, you may be able to charge your phone with a simple USB cable. 

As long as you have power to your phone, you can call for help in the event of a disaster (such as a totaled car) or any set of disastrous weather conditions. 

4. Gloves and a Warm Hat 

Some of our recommended supplies for your car’s winter emergency kit are simpler than others. For example, when you’re dealing with low temperatures and possibly extreme wind, it’s important to have gloves and a warm hat on hand. 

In certain remote areas, you may not be able to count on another driver to save you, especially if you’re in a hard-to-find location or surrounded by dangerous road conditions. Gloves and a warm hat can keep your extremities safe and functioning as you repair a damaged vehicle or even deploy flares to help someone find you. 

5. Jumper Cables 

​With any luck, you won’t need the help of emergency responders to get your car moving again. In the winter, a very common issue is that your battery is drained of power. That’s why all winter car survival kits need to have a good pair of jumper cables. 

Jumper cables are one of the essential items to get your vehicle back on the road. If you’ve lost power after dealing with issues like ice or a winter storm, it’s good to know that you just need a little bit of borrowed power from another car to get moving again. And don’t forget to periodically check your battery power

jumper cables near car engine

6. Warm Blanket 

So far, we have focused on mostly quick fixes you can perform this winter season, but what if you run out of fuel or get stuck in a pile-up and have to wait for help to arrive? In that case, your best defense against the cold weather is a nice, warm blanket. 

With a blanket in your car’s winter emergency kit (and potentially some hand warmers), you can keep your core temperature up and perhaps even save your life by avoiding hypothermia. In addition, having a blanket in your car can come in handy in non-emergency situations, too, especially for passengers who may just want to get cozy during a long road trip. 

7. Simple Food and Water 

We don’t normally associate food with emergency kits, but if you’re stuck somewhere for a very long time, you may need to pack water and some very simple food. 

Food items like granola bars are easy to pack and last for a long time. Plus, when you have food and water on hand, you won’t have to worry about getting dehydrated or going hungry as you wait for help to arrive. And with any luck, driving safe this season will keep you from getting into such a situation. 

Stay Safe with a Winter Emergency Kit and Affordable Auto Insurance! 

Now you know what to pack in your car’s winter emergency kit, but do you know who can really keep you safe throughout all the seasons? 

Freeway Insurance is here to defend you against any accident all year round with a good roadside assistance plan and other insurance products. We can quickly and easily provide you with an online quote, or feel free to give us a call at (800) 777-5620. You can also visit us at an office near you

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