Include these items in your car’s winter emergency kit

It is better to be safe than sorry. That old adage is especially relevant for driving in the cold and sometimes inclement weather during the winter months.

Nobody ever plans for their car to break down. Yet if it does, having an emergency kit in the trunk can make a troubling situation less stressful.

The Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness recommends that you include the following items in a winter emergency kit for your vehicle:

  • At least two blankets or a sleeping bag
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Jumper cables
  • Emergency flares
  • Extra clothing, including boots, hats and gloves
  • A steel shovel and rope
  • Bottled water, juice and non-perishable food items (like granola bars, peanut butter or cheese crackers, raisins and/or nuts)
  • First aid kit
  • Sand or non-clumping cat litter for tire traction
  • A cell phone charger to accompany your cell phone

Survival Tips if Stranded

The best advice is to remain with the vehicle. If nothing else, you are guaranteed shelter. Other helpful tips include:

  • Tie a bright colored cloth (handkerchief, towel, etc.) to the vehicle’s antenna, driver door handle or outside mirror.
  • Keep the exhaust pipe clear of snow. Poisonous gases can filter into the vehicle if the pipe is clogged.
  • Run the engine and heater no more than 10 minutes every hour, leaving a downwind window slightly open for ventilation while the engine is running.
  • Light a flare or turn on a flashlight to let others know you’re stranded in the vehicle.
  • Use floor mats, seat covers and blankets for added warmth. If you must leave your vehicle during a severe snow storm or blizzard, secure a line of rope or cord to yourself and the vehicle to avoid becoming lost or disoriented.
  • Keep bottled water in your emergency kit or vehicle. Never eat snow. It will chill you and lower your body temperature.
  • Remain calm. Chances for rescue are better if you remain calm and in your vehicle.

If you are stranded, consider these tips:

  • Tie a bright colored cloth (handkerchief, towel, etc.) to the vehicle’s antenna, driver door handle or outside mirror.
  • Keep the exhaust pipe clear of snow. Poisonous gases can filter into the vehicle if the pipe is clogged.
  • Run the engine and heater no more than 10 minutes every hour, leaving a downwind window slightly open for ventilation while the engine is running.
  • Light a flare or turn on a flashlight to let others know you’re stranded in the vehicle.
  • Use floor mats, seat covers and blankets for added warmth. If you must leave your vehicle during a severe snow storm or blizzard, secure a line of rope or cord to yourself and the vehicle to avoid becoming lost or disoriented.
  • Keep bottled water in your emergency kit or vehicle. Never eat snow. It will chill you and lower your body temperature.
  • Remain calm. Chances for rescue are better if you remain calm and in your vehicle.

 

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