Emergency Items You Should Keep in Your Car this Winter
The polar vortex has got everyone talking about cold weather. But while we are exclaiming about the ridiculously low temperatures and naming things “polar vortex,” there are plenty of people who are right in the thick of some of the most extreme weather the world has seen in decades. And though there have been some fatalities as a result of the cold weather, there is a far more common occurrence of people being stranded in their vehicles for days at a time. In these sorts of situations it is difficult to survive, but if you are properly prepared, it can be done. Here are some of the most important things for you to keep in your car in case of emergencies this winter.
If you are going to be stuck in your car for 12 or more hours, there is one thing for which you will be grateful above all else: food. And even if it is not winter, storing emergency food should be a top priority for any car owner. Remember to store things that can last for a long period of time (your food won’t do you much good if it is spoiled), and that can also stand extreme temperatures, both hot and cold. Make sure it is also fairly light and placed in secure packaging.
If you are stranded in your car overnight, you might be tempted to run your engine all night to keep yourself warm. This might initially seem like a good idea, but it can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning, which is fatal. At the very best, it will deplete your gas supply and make it near impossible to get home. As a result, you may only be able to run your engine for short periods of time in regular increments, and you will need something to keep you warm. Keep a spare set of warm clothes or a warm blanket in your car for such a situation. Fleece fabric is a good choice, because it is both warm and durable.
As well as food and warmth, there will be a number of other emergency items that you will need in your car should you run into a snow drift, a blizzard, a breakdown, or some other unfortunate winter mishap. A first aid kit is a good addition to any car, as it will come in handy for other situations as well. In the winter, however, it might be even more useful as you might sustain minor injuries if you slide on ice. Some other recommended items are a flashlight, basic medication, spare batteries, a wind up radio for traffic reports, a spare phone or charger if you have one, and a basic tool kit. In very extreme circumstances, you may have to catch someone’s attention in the snow. In this situation, it helps to store a flare or other bright light in your car.
Extreme weather is no joke, and winter survival can be difficult at times. However, if you are prepared, you will make it through without a scratch and probably with a great story to tell!