Winter is unpredictable, it’s important to know which Winter Emergency Supplies to keep in your car, so you aren’t caught unprepared!
The first year we lived in New England, we found out just how much we didn’t know about being prepared for winter weather. We found ourselves unprepared for many different situations, and 3 years later, we’re still learning. Things come up that you just weren’t aware were even possibilities, so you don’t know to prepare for them. I’m hoping I can save someone some stress by sharing with you a few things we’ve found useful and helpful. I don’t recommend using a shovel to clean off the car, as seen in the photo above… It was all we had, and that was 25 inches of snow. Overnight. A shovel WILL scratch your paint. Oops. Here are some ideas for Winter Emergency Supplies to keep in your car, and hopefully you’ll be better prepared than we were if you get caught in a winter storm. Some of the links are affiliate links, others are not. If you make a purchase after clicking an affiliate link, it helps support this blog, and is appreciated 🙂
I keep this in the trunk area of my vehicle year round. This particular kit comes with the following items:
Travel with this well stocked kit stowed in your trunk for greater security on the road. The AAA 42 piece emergency road assistance kit includes: 1 AAA car care guide, 1 AAA membership brochure, 1 8-gauge booster cable, 1 flashlight, 2 AA batteries, 1 emergency poncho, 1 safety vest, 1 roll of duct tape, 1 2-in-1 screw driver, 6 assorted sizes of fuses, 1 shop cloth, 4 cable ties, 1 reusable zip lock bag, 19 pieces of first aid, 1 AAA storage bag.
We also have Roadside Assistance through our insurance company, but in the midst of a huge storm, there is a huge increase in the number of customers they are trying to serve, so the wait can be quite long. Having a some basic emergency gear with you can really come in handy. This is afford-ably priced too!
Bottled Water & Non-perishable snacks: My vehicle has a cooler area built in that holds some bottles of water, but during the winter I keep a full case in the back. It comes in handy when we’re out running errands, and if we get stuck, there is plenty for everyone. I also keep some snacks in a tote bag. It could be crackers, peanut butter, etc. with paper towels, plastic wear, and a small sack for trash.
Nobody is going to WANT to use that toilet paper. Especially in the cold snow and/or ice. However, sometimes Nature calls, and needs must be met. Take proper precautions when leaving the vehicle, so you can be as safe as possible. Actually, you should probably have a roll in your car no matter what the season because you just never know. Rest stops are sometimes out of toilet tissue, and we’ve found that sometimes the National Park restrooms near us are basically port o potty style toilets in permanent buildings. The paper quality there is sandpaper. A roll of Charmin from home can make things significantly more pleasant.
If you find yourself stuck in a snowbank, during a snow storm, it may be hard to see your vehicle.
Safety Flag with Reflectors – You can also use a scarf or any bright material you have. This is what I have, it’s actually for a bicycle, but works in an emergency. You’ll want something made of a sturdy material to handle wet snow, and wind, that has reflectors. Reflector decals are also available separately if you want to use on another material, so that you can be spotted after dark. It’s dark around 4:15 here right now, so being prepared for night time conditions is important.
Phone Charger – Keep your phone charged, so it’s near full battery life when you leave the house. I keep a cell phone charger in my car, but it only works if the vehicle is running. If you’re stuck in a snowbank, you’ll have to turn the vehicle off to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. If you’re car battery is dead, you won’t be able to charge your phone inside the car either. In these instances, an External Charger would come in handy. There are many brands and varieties, depending on what type of phone you have. Having both items inside the car though, can be a lifesaver during an emergency.
First Aid Kit – Make sure you have at least band-aids, antiseptic, and antibiotic ointment. This is another item that would be handy year round. Having some ibuprofen and ace bandages for minor snow shoveling injuries would be helpful too!
Gloves, Hat, and Boots – Hopefully you’ll have on a heavy winter coat if the temperatures are low when you leave your home. Having water proof gloves, a cap for your head, and boots in your vehicle are great if you have to shovel snow. My water proof gloves are thick, and not great for driving, but are necessary when shoveling. It’s important to keep hands, head, and feet dry too!