How to Make a Winter Survival Car Kit

emergency road trip kit ideas

Winter driving can be treacherous sometimes. You never know what may happen while you’re on a road trip, or even making a trip to the grocery store. At the very least, make sure you have a winter car kit prepared before storms hit. A properly stocked safety car kit should have items such as an ice scraper and snowbrush, jumper cables, flashlight, blanket, cell phone charging cable, flares, hand warmers, extra clothes, bottled water, dry food snacks and needed medication.

If you are a resident of New England, you know how cold our winters can be at times. For the best car maintenance in Connecticut, take your vehicle to Bolton Motors for pre-winter check-ups before the cold weather arrives. Having your vehicle thoroughly checked before the winter will help you to avoid troubles. Tires, belts, hoses, battery, and coolant are necessary maintenance checks prior to long, cold winters.

What to Include in Your Winter Car Safety Kit

  • Shovel
  • Windshield scraper with small broom
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Battery powered radio
  • Water
  • Snack food
  • Matches and small candles
  • Extra clothing, hats, socks, and mittens
  • First aid kit
  • Pocket knife
  • Extra medication (when it applies)
  • Blankets or sleeping bag
  • Tow chain or rope
  • Road salt, sand, or cat litter for traction
  • Jumper cables
  • Emergency flares and reflectors
  • Fluorescent distress flag
  • Whistle to attract attention
  • Cell phone adapter/charger
  • Hand warmers


Helpful Tips for your Car Safety Kit

  • Store items in the back seat or passenger compartment in case the trunk is jammed or frozen shut. If you have a car with a pass-thru back seat to trunk, storing items in the trunk should be OK
  • Choose small packages of food that you can eat hot or cold. Freeze dried foods are best since their shelf life is longer. Storing foods in an airtight container is recommended.

911 and Car Emergency Tips

  • Call 911 on your cell phone. Provide your location, condition of everyone in the vehicle and the problem you’re experiencing. Having OnStar is also a plus if your vehicle is equipped with this feature. If you have no cell phone service,
  • You may be told to stay where you are until help arrives. Please make sure you stay in your vehicle: Walking in a storm can be very dangerous. You might become lost or exhausted. Your vehicle is a good shelter.
  • Do not hang up the phone until you confirm who you have spoken with and what will happen next.
  • If you must leave the vehicle, write down your name, address, phone number, and destination. Place the piece of paper inside the front windshield for someone to see.

road trip safety essentials

Safety Precautions Prior to Taking Road Trips

  • Prepare your vehicle: Make sure you keep your gas tank at least half full.
  • Be easy to find: Tell someone where you are going and the route you will take.
  • Take main roads that are heavily traveled. Don’t travel on roads that are remote or unmarked

Car Survival Tips in Case of Emergency

  • If you get stuck: Tie a fluorescent flag on your antenna or hang it out the window. At night, keep your dome light on. Rescue crews can see a small glow at a distance. To reduce battery drain, use emergency flashers only if you hear approaching vehicles. If you’re with someone else, make sure at least one person is awake and keeping watch for help at all times.
  • Again, stay in your vehicle: Walking in a storm can be very dangerous. You might become lost or exhausted. Your vehicle is a good shelter.
  • Avoid Overexertion: Shoveling snow or pushing your car takes a lot of effort in storm conditions. Don’t risk a heart attack or injury. That work can also make you hot and sweaty. Wet clothing loses insulation value, making you susceptible to hypothermia.
  • Fresh Air: It’s better to be cold and awake than comfortably warm and sleepy. Snow can plug your vehicle’s exhaust system and cause deadly carbon monoxide gas to enter your car. Only run the engine for 10 minutes an hour and make sure the exhaust pipe is free of snow. Keeping a window open a crack while running the engine is also a good idea.
  • Don’t expect to be comfortable, just stay positive and survive until you’re found.
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