Are you traveling over the hills and through the snow this winter season? Even if you’re just shuttling the kids around and commuting to work, you could face surprising winter weather conditions in the coming months. A roadside assistance plan could come in handy in case of emergency, but you can also take action to be prepared before you and your car find yourself stuck in the snow or stranded by the road.
Cold temperatures, wet snow, and ice can affect the metal, rubber, and other materials in your car, making your battery, tires, and engine less efficient, reports the Minnesota Department of Safety . Yikes! Follow the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) lead and prepare for winter driving with the ultimate emergency car kit.
According to FEMA, you should update the emergency kits in your vehicle with:
- A shovel
- Windshield scraper and small broom
- Extra windshield washer fluid with de-icer
- Battery powered radio
- Extra batteries
- A few gallons of water
- Snack food
- Candles and matches
- Extra hats, socks, and mittens/gloves
- First aid kit w/pocket knife
- Sleeping bag or blanket(s)
- Tow chain or rope
- Road salt and/or sand
- Booster/jumper cables
- Emergency flares and/or reflective emergency triangle(s)
- Fluorescent distress flags
For a smaller kit that’s easier to move between vehicles, use an empty, three-pound coffee can or large container with a plastic cover to store your smaller items that you could need immediate access to. These items might include:
- Small candles and matches
- Flashlight and spare batteries
- Windshield scraper
- Extra gloves and hats
- Distress flags
Even if your city doesn’t have a reputation for rough winter weather, putting together an emergency car kit can help bring your family peace of mind whether they’re traveling with you or snuggled up at home. With 24-hour emergency towing, jump starts, and gas and essential fluid delivery service, a roadside assistance plan from Direct Auto Insurance could also come in handy. Plus, after just one use the plan pays for itself!
So what’s in your emergency car kit?