Emergency Winter Car Kit

Emergencies can happen to anyone. Prepare for the worst-case scenario, especially in winter time when snow, cold, and icy conditions can leave you in a pickle. Check out these tips for a car emergency kit. Keep your kit in a bag in your trunk. 

Minimum Supplies

Besides making sure you have a full tank of gas and fresh antifreeze, the National Safety Council recommends having these with you at all times:

  • Blankets, mittens, socks and hats
  • Ice scraper and snow brush
  • Flashlight and batteries 
  • Jumper cables
  • First-aid kit 
  • Bottled water
  • Multi-tool (like a Swiss Army Knife)
  • Road flares or reflective warning triangles
  • Windshield cleaner
  • Tire gauge
  • Nonperishable high-energy foods such as unsalted and canned nuts, granola bars, raisins and dried fruit, peanut butter, or hard candy
  • Lighter and box of matches (in a waterproof container)

Extra Supplies for Extra Weather

  • A bag of sand to help with traction (or bag of non-clumping cat litter)
  • Collapsible or folding snow shovel
  • Hand warmers
  • Small fire extinguisher
  • Jack and lug wrench to change a tire
  • Duct tape
  • Foam tire sealant for minor tire punctures
  • Battery– or hand-crank–powered radio
  • Scissors and string or cord
  • Spare change and cash
  • Compass
  • Winter boots for longer trips
  • Sleeping bag for longer trips
  • Tire chains and tow strap