As much as I love the joy of the holiday season, along with it comes a deluge of bad weather. This year, winter started early with our first snowfall in late September. We along with other regions have had several snowfalls since. Are you prepared for the winter months, or will you be taken off guard?
Bad winter conditions like heavy snowfall, blizzards, sleet, icy conditions, and freezing temperatures can make driving hazardous and dangerous. Always expect the unexpected and be prepared for what may chance upon you. There are several important tools we should keep in our vehicle during the winter season just in case any situation or emergency should arise.
But, there are a few essential things you need before you venture out in the brutal weather. Have a fully charged cell phone. Never leave home with a half-charged phone and always bring your charger with you. Another factor to consider is your tires. Do you have reliable winter tires that can handle bad road conditions? How are your windshield wipers? Are they shredding or missing areas on your windshield? Get new ones before the winter season begins. Here’s a list of the necessary items we keep in our vehicles.
Essential Tools for the Winter Season
First Aid Kit – this kit is essential should any small injury happen. Make sure it’s stocked with fresh supplies before you take a trip.
Water & Non-Perishable Food – Depending on weather conditions, it may take time to get help, so having provisions on hand is necessary.
Jumper Cables – these are vital and a ‘must-have’ should your car battery need a jump start. Keep a set in your trunk just in case you or a fellow driver needs assistance.
Blankets – are equally as vital to have in your vehicle during winter. They will provide the necessary warmth should you get stranded in freezing temperatures on the highway. We always carry two and they don’t take up too much room.
Candles & Matches – when electronic sources fail, it’s important to have candles and matches. They provide a small amount of heat and light.
Gloves, Hand Warmers, Scarves & Socks – having a bag of winter warmers may be the difference between serious frostbite and comfortably warm.
Shovel – if you run into a snowdrift and can’t drive your way out of it, a durable compact shovel will be your savior.
Road Flares – flares brilliant white light will show you are in need of assistance and allow rescuers to find you.
Flashlights – fumbling in the dark is futile, so having a few flashlights on hand will allow you to see where you’re going and even alert oncoming traffic that you need help. Make sure you load them with fresh batteries before you travel. Most iPhones have a flashlight app, but this will drain your cell phone battery very quickly.
Snow Brush and Ice Scraper – the brush end will remove snow and keep your windshield and head beams clear and the scraper will remove frosty ice quickly. As simple as these are to use, you wouldn’t want to be without one. Just don’t get a flimsy one, buy one that’s sturdy and durable.
Rock Salt, Sand or kitty litter – these products can be so beneficial if you get stuck and need a little traction. It will melt snow and ice fairly quickly so you can move on.
Emergency Escape Tool – if the worst-case scenario should happen this tool will cut seatbelts and break windows should you need to escape quickly. Fits in your glove compartment.
Extra Windshield Fluid – this product has antifreeze components so it will keep your windshield clear so you have better visibility, especially in storm conditions.
ToolKit – minor problems are inevitable, so having a toolkit on hand to fix basic issues can prove to be indispensable.
Chain or Rope – having a chain or rope on hand to pull vehicles out of bad situations is a good call.
Portable Battery Charger – these chargers will give you enough energy to make an emergency call.
Fix-A-Flat – this product will temporarily seal a leaking tire. Great for emergencies.
If you’re prepared for the winter months, traveling on the highways or city roads will be a nicer experience.