Emergency Car Essentials


Snowy roads can be dangerous. They make it likelier than usual that you might end up getting stuck somewhere. If that happens, having the right gear in your car can keep you safe and comfortable. The following list contains some items you should definitely think about putting in your car:
• A (charged) portable battery: Most phones go through their batteries fairly fast. If you need your phone, it’s helpful to be able to charge up the battery away from home.
• A blanket: Cold weather and inadequate clothing are a bad combination. If the weather is worse than you thought and you didn’t grab a coat on the way out the door, having a blanket is important.
• An emergency escape tool: The DSYJ Car Hammer Seatbelt Cutter Window Breaker Emergency Escape Tool can save your life, and it is small enough to go in the glove compartment. Better yet, you can buy one of these on Amazon for less than $6.
• A first aid kit: You can buy one or make one. Some people use a plastic water container to store the essentials; other people just pick up a kit at the store. You may have one already, but how old is it? This is one of those purchases you should check regularly to make sure that it is fully stocked and that nothing has expired.
• A flashlight with fresh batteries: It gets dark early during the winter. You may need a flashlight during the late afternoon as well as the evening to help you flag down traffic or to make sure drivers can see you.
• Jumper cables: Sometimes batteries die. When they do, having some jumper cables available makes it possible to get an engine going again, whether that’s your engine or someone else’s.
• Road flares: Flares can alert other drivers to the fact that there’s a problem. The more advance notice drivers have, the more likely it is that they will realize they need to slow down. There are a lot of options on flares, but the most appealing ones are flares that are rechargeable and battery powered. Use the internet to find one you like and buy several. Some flares even have magnets so you can stick the flare to your car. (Search for FRED Flare on Amazon to see a few options.)
• A compact folding shovel: You never know when you might need to dig. Having something small and compact that can get the job done when you need it is a good idea.
• Rock salt: Even if you have some form of four-wheel drive, it’s possible that sometimes you will run into a difficult driving situation. Rock salt can help you get on your way again.
• A snow brush with a scraper on it so you can get snow and ice off your windows.
AAA sells an emergency kit that includes a first-aid kit, a flashlight, jumper cables, and a shovel, as well as toolkit items such as duct tape, a screw driver, a shop cloth, and zip ties. Every kit comes in a handy bag.