1 minute readHealth & Safety
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Driving in a Winter Wonderland

According to the calendar, winter’s been around for more than a month.  Mother Nature doesn’t always follow the same calendar as we do, however, and this year it seemed she allowed fall to linger a little longer than usual.  Until last week, that is, when the first serious storms of the year blanketed much of the country with feet of snow and officially closed the book on fall and opened the door to winter.

Reading about the deep snowfalls and bitterly cold temperatures in my hometown (it didn’t, nor will it, snow where I live now) reminded me that my winter emergency preparedness kits – especially the preparedness kit I keep in my car – are in desperate need of updating.  You know how it goes…one child needs a granola bar to survive soccer practice, another needs an extra water bottle after soccer practice, and a third needs a Band-Aid and an ice pack after an on-field collision.  It only took a few soccer practices to completely wipe out my car preparedness kit.

Is your car stocked and ready for winter?  If not, read on and then commit an hour of your time to making sure you and your family will remain safe in your car in the event of a weather-related emergency.

The contents of your vehicle winter preparedness kit will likely differ from the contents in your home winter preparedness kit and depend on where in the United States you live (if you live in central Texas, like me and where it never snows, you won’t need the same supplies as someone who lives in the Midwest or the Northeast, where Mother Nature can dump feet of snow in a matter of hours).  When pulling together your car kit, start with the basics and then consider the weather conditions in your region of the country, the storage space available in your car, and your travel habits/plans to determine which additional items will serve you best in an emergency.


  • Bottled water
  • High-calorie, nonperishable food
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Cell phone charger
  • Blanket or sleeping bag
  • Tow company telephone number


  • Jumper cables
  • Road flares
  • Multi-purpose tool
  • Collapsible shovel
  • Jack and lug wrench
  • Tire gauge
  • Fix-a-flat spray


  • Poncho or rain gear
  • Windshield scraper
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio
  • Bag of kitty litter
  • Tire chains or tow chain
  • Waterproof matches
  • Duct tape
  • Antifreeze
  • Oil

If you’re not able to pull together all of these items on your own, consider getting the ball rolling with an American Red Cross Emergency Preparedness Kit and then adding to it as needed.  Click here to visit the American Red Cross store, and here and here for my favorite kits.