In light of all of the severe weather that is happening in the Midwest this week with certain cities suffering shutdowns of mass proportions, I figured I would do a post on a Cold Weather Preparedness Car Kit. .
Here are a couple of tips from Weather.com that you can use if you do think that there is a possibility that you could be stranded in your car during a cold spell.
- Blanket: If you are stuck with a car that won’t start, or that has conked out, and have to wait in cold weather for help, you will want a decent warm blanket as an extra layer.
- Snow shovel: Get a short-handled shovel, probably a coal-type shovel, to stow in the trunk in case you need to remove snow from around the wheels of your vehicle. You can buy plastic ones, but you may want to opt for a metal one in case you also need to chip at some ice or compacted snow.
- Flashlight: Self explanatory. Keep a good-sized, water-proof flashlight with fresh batteries in case your breakdown is at night. Pack emergency candles too, as a back-up.
- Hand warmers: Available at camping stores. Smash the bag and the chemical reaction inside creates warmth to defrost fingers that may be trying to change a tire or fiddle with an engine.
- Matches: You never know when you will have to manufacture heat. It’s better than rubbing tow cold, snowy sticks together, hoping for the best.
- Bottle of water and a few protein, snack bars. You hear of people surviving on ketchup packets that have fallen between the seats, but some planning will yield a better menu under emergency conditions.
- Syphon Pump: If being out of gas is your problem, and you get offered help by a good Samaritan, you want t be able to get a gallon or two of gas out of another gas tank to get you going quickly.
- Lightsticks: These cost almost nothing at a dollar store and can be used either as a light source or to wear in case you are shoveling snow around your wheels at night.
- Flares: These should be in your trunk in all seasons for putting next to your car if you are pulled over in distress.
- Whistle: It can be used to either signal for help to someone who can’t hear you yell, or to scare someone who may be trying to take advantage of your distress.
Lots of these Cold Weather Preparedness Car Kits are available in stores like Target, Walmart and also online at Amazon, Red Cross. You can do a google search if you need more.
I’d also make sure to keep cell phones, chargers, and a couple of cans of non perishable food with a can opener. Preferably food that you don’t have to heat up.
Also, practice safe driving. Don’t tailgate, drive slowly, make sure that your car is properly gassed, and in good driving order. Most of all, if you do not HAVE to go anywhere, stay home.
Here in Chicago, we are usually equipped to handle winter storms and the like, but even we got hit with a blizzard in 2011 that shut our city down. Those people who boasted of living in our city for all of their lives, decided to drive on Lake Shore Drive parallel to Lake Michigan, and ended up having to abandon their cars on the road. They didn’t get them back for several days, and even then, they had to track down which tow lot it was in.
I want you all to stay safe, and stay smart. Please do!