Winter Car Emergency Kit Checklist: What You Need

Posted Thursday, Dec 09, 2021

The winter season is upon us and that means navigating hazardous roads are not far behind. Keeping a winter car emergency kit in your vehicle can help you prepare for unsafe conditions. After all, knowing how to be safe is imperative when faced with a disaster.

That’s why we put together a list of items you might need to create your own winter car emergency kit. Your safety when driving depends on a lot of things, a couple of which are out of your control. Luckily, if you have the tools at your disposal and take preventative measures, you can have the best possible outcome.

What you can’t control.

The Weather.

You have no say in Mother Nature, but you can be prepared. Keep on top of what is happening with conditions that may affect the road:

  • Traffic flows
  • Visibility
  • Incoming storms
  • Road construction
  • Wrecks
  • Road damage
  • School closures

While the weatherman isn’t always 100% accurate, checking things out before you leave is the only way you can prepare as much as possible.

Other Drivers.

You can never predict other drivers. You can’t control other people putting you in dangerous situations.

But what you can do is:

  • Practice defensive driving
  • Watch your mirrors
  • Slow down
  • Allow yourself plenty of time – and patience

Getting yourself where you need to be safely, is the only thing that matters.

What you can control.

Vehicle Behavior.

By adhering to your car’s maintenance schedule, you can help your car stay in its peak performance.

It’s extremely important to take care of the tires:

  • Rotate regularly
  • Replaced when necessary
  • Check the tire pressure
  • If your Tire Pressure Sensitivity light comes on your dash, get your tires checked out.

Your tires are the shoes your vehicle wears and traction is vital to staying safe on the ice.

The Route.

Sometimes taking the road less traveled is a wonderful way to enjoy the scenery. And even in the winter it can be stunning.

But during harsh weather conditions it’s not always the best idea. Depending on the type of less traveled road there could be significant potholes, washed out sides, mud, etc.

Don’t get brave, get smart:

  • Drive on sanded roads
  • Slow down
  • Give other drivers plenty of space

Safe Vehicle.

It should come as no surprise that what you drive matters. Especially in the winter. You need a vehicle that is going to be safe, reliable, and in top condition. Luckily, many cars come with safety features that are great in winter.

Things to look for in a good car include:

  • All-wheel drive
  • Heated windshield
  • Stability control
  • Traction control
  • Winter tires

It may also be time for a new car with some of these enhanced features. Here at City Wide Motors, we have a great inventory of vehicles with 4-wheel drive, traction control, and more.

Another perk of buying with City Wide? Our bumper-to-bumper car inspection is part of our FREE warranty! Before you leave our lot, we make sure you have a safe car for the winter ahead.

Winter Car Emergency Kit Checklist

As the saying goes, it’s always good to be prepared. Especially during the winter, the last thing you want is to be stuck in the frigid temperatures. If you are in an area with no reception, it’s even more hazardous.

Be prepared and create a winter car emergency kit with these suggested items:

  • Warm clothes

    • Clothes
    • Gloves
    • Scarves
    • Hats
    • Thick socks
    • Snow boots
    • Hand and foot warmers
    • Blankets
  • Supplies

    • Backup phone charger and/or solar powered charger.
    • Batteries for flashlight(s)
    • Box of matches to heat up small spaces
    • CB Radio or walkie talkies
  • Basic equipment

    • Ice scraper with snow brush
    • Sturdy ropes and/or chains
    • Shovel (a foldable one fits nicely)
    • Tire chains
    • Flashlight(s)
    • Hammer/Glass break
    • Duct tape
    • WD40
    • Basic tool set
    • Multi-purpose tool like a Leatherman
  • Food and drink

    • Protein bars
    • Bottled water
    • Meals Ready-to-Eat (MRE’s)
    • Gatorade
    • Food and extra water for any pets traveling with you

Other items to include and check are:

  • Spare tire

    • Regardless of the weather, you should always have a full spare tire.
    • Include a fix-a-flat kit to help buy you time.
  • Jumper cables

    • Test these and make sure you know how to use them.
    • Consider purchasing a portable car charger as well.
  • Windshield wipers

    • These often break and wear out quickly, especially in the winter. Start fresh!
  • First aid kit

    • Check expiration dates and restock.
    • Maybe include a small supply of any prescription medications as well.
  • Roadside emergency kit

    • Reflective triangles
    • Flares
    • Horn
    • Compass
  • Cat litter and/or rock salt

    • Litter helps with traction
    • Rock salt acts as a de-icer

Hopefully you won’t need to use these items in any of your travels. But, if disaster strikes, having at least some of these items will help you make it to safety. Before you set out on the road, pack a duffel bag, and double check features to be confident that your vehicle is operating correctly.

At City Wide Motors, we care about you and your family. Your safety is most important to us, and we want you to have trust in our used vehicle inspections and warranty program. We do our very best to ensure you have a vehicle that enables you to drive your dream in safety and security.