If you drive in the winter months, you need to be extra prepared. Here’s what you should have in your car’s cold weather kit…
Hot Packs ~
By now everyone has seen those chemical reaction packs that are popular with hunters. You just give them a squeeze and a shake, and they radiant heat for up to 14 hours. These amazing inventions are perfect for your car’s cold weather kit! In an emergency, every little bit of heat counts. I have personally spent a night stranded at the side of the road in subzero temperatures with these hot pack in my socks saving me from frostbite. They are great little packets of insurance,and they’re small. Stick a dozen with your car’s cold weather gear. You’ll be very glad you did.
You simply cannot have too many blankets when you live in a cold-weather area. Whether you’re wrapping up someone who had to strip out of wet clothing, or bundling up for a night spent roadside when the weather won’t let you continue, good blankets can save your life. Shivering uses up calories, so warm people are going to survive longer. Be sure there is at least one blanket per seating position of your vehicle through out the winter months. If your car is at all finicky, or you have delayed maintenance issues, fill up all the extra space in your trunk and lay a few extra blankets across the back seat too.
Cell Phone ~
If you end up stuck in your car in the winter, you do NOT want to try to walk for help in most cases. Staying put, and calling for help is your best plan. Even if you don’t normally carry a cell phone, consider getting one of the emergency-only models to keep in your car’s cold weather kit. That’ll let you call 911 if you need to, so that help can come to you while you stay as warm as possible in the car.
Energy Snacks ~
Sometimes, when winter weather is at it’s worst, you can end up staying in your car, waiting for help to arrive. That may mean waiting for a storm to end, waiting for ice to be cleared, or waiting for daylight to come. Your body will need calories while you wait, so be sure that you have plenty of high energy snack in your cold weather kit to get you through it. If you frequently transport people with special nutritional needs (infants, diabetics, etc.) be sure you have something appropriate for them, too.
If you end up stranded in your vehicle, waiting for winter weather to clear, be sure that you don’t have to worry about dehydrating. Store extra bottles of water in your car, to be prepared. It’s a good idea to store them under your front seats, so that the floor heat vents keep them from freezing while you drive. If you store them in the trunk, they will very likely freeze ad expand, causing the bottles to burst.
Jumper Cables ~
Cold weather has a tendency to sap the energy from car batteries. Be prepared to give yours a little help by always having a set of jumper cables in your vehicle. If you need a jump-start, and someone is nice enough to stop and help you, consider that that person may not have cables. Always have your own jumper cables, just in case.