Every year, winter throws out more than a few weather and travel-related situations. Freezing rain, blinding snow and icy roadways can make even short drives across town hazardous. A traffic accident, a police matter or snow emergency may hold you up for hours; you have to prepare for the unexpected, especially in the Midwest. When winter storms happen, first-responder crews and tow-trucks will be spread thin as they deal with others.
KEEP BASICS INSIDE THE CAR
Make a kit in a duffle bag or backpack to keep everything in one place and easy to find.
• Snacks and bottled water: Go for those that are easy to pack and contain protein and simple carbs for quick energy and nourishment, such as nuts, raisins and mini candy bars.
• Stay-warm gear: Stash a few extra hats, gloves, scarves and a blanket or two.
• Emergency supplies: Pack a first-aid kit that includes essential medications, a whistle, a battery-operated or hand-crank radio and a lightweight flashlight (reverse batteries' placement inside flashlights to keep them from accidentally turning on and burning out when not in use).
STORE SMALL ESSENTIALS IN THE GLOVE BOX
For shorter and less dire emergencies, you'll appreciate having a few things within easy reach.
• Cellphone chargers: Keep a standard one that plugs into your car's charging port, but also invest in one with its own stored charge that can give your phone an emergency boost.
• Emergency contact card: As a backup, write a card with phone numbers for kids' schools, doctors, tow services, relatives and other key numbers you typically store on your cell phone.
• A road map because people rely heavily on a phone or car's GPS that may not work.
• Extra cash: Go for small bills. Power outages mean cash registers and credit card machines won't be working, so having small bills lets you buy items without overpaying.
STOW BIG STUFF IN THE TRUNK
If you get stuck in the snow, having a few larger items on hand can help.
• Snow-removal tools: A small shovel with a folding or telescoping handle is compact and useful. An extra ice scraper and brush may also come in handy. Emergency flares.
• Rock salt or sand: A bag of either provides traction in case you your wheels are spinning.
• Windshield fluid: It's smart to top off your car's fluid before longer trips, and keep extras.
• Towels: A large beach towel or two lets you dry off after digging in the snow.
PACK FOR SPECIAL NEEDS
If you frequently travel with kids, elderly or others with special needs, be sure to think ahead to what could be useful. For example, extra baby formula or food, diapers and a few additional kids' games, books and activities can make a traffic standstill more pleasant for everyone.
Source: Press Release