Winter is here in Wisconsin. Unseasonably cold weather has hit even places like the Deep South. With the polar vortex as a regular occurrence in our winters, below zero temperatures, and snow in places that don’t normally see snow, you need to be prepared for winter hazards.
When snow and ice cover the roads, the risk of emergencies increases. We hope you’ve already taken advantage of our winter inspection to make sure your vehicle can handle the winter road conditions. To stay safe and prepare for winter emergencies, gather these 10 things in your vehicle for a winter emergency kit:
Windshield scraper – On cold winter mornings, you’ve probably had to pry a thick layer of ice from your windshield. Keep a scraper (or one of these hacks!) in your car this season so you won’t be stuck waiting for the defroster to melt through the ice.
Tire chains – If you’re often driving on icy and snowy roads, tire chains help provide traction for safe driving. Choose the right type for your vehicle, and learn how to put them on your tires BEFORE you need them in an emergency.
Blanket and winter hat – Keep these things (add scarves, gloves, sweaters, etc.) in your vehicle to stay warm. You may not want to keep your vehicle running if you’ll be stuck for a long time, or dead batteries and an empty gas tank can prevent you from running the heater.
Small shovel – This can be vital when you find yourself stuck in a snow bank. You can even purchase a smaller, folding shovel for easier storing in your vehicle.
Cat litter – If you’re stuck on snow or ice, sprinkling some cat litter over the road can help provide traction to get your car moving again.
Cardboard box – Like cat litter, a cardboard box can provide a boost of traction to get you moving on a slick road. Simply place the cardboard under a tire, get out of the way, drive over it, and you’re on your way.
Gloves and hand warmers – Gloves can make a huge difference while your performing emergency repairs in the cold (like changing a flat tire or jump-starting your vehicle). They keep you warm, and prevent grease and oil from getting on your hands. You can also keep a few chemical hand warmer packs in your kit for extra heat.
Hazard lights or reflectors – In these cold months, the dark hours outlast the light. Visibility is critical for keeping you safe in an emergency. Pick up a few inexpensive reflective hazard triangles to put on the road to warn other drivers of your presence. It’s also a good idea to keep a flashlight to help you see, perform tasks, and stay safe at night.
Water and Nonperishable food – Being stuck in the cold is bad enough, don’t add hunger and thirst to the mix. A supply of snacks and water will keep you hydrated and satisfied until help arrives. The calories can also help keep you warm!
Tow strap – If you find yourself so stuck that shovels, cardboard, and cat litter can’t help, you may need a tow. Keep a tow strap in your kit so a kind driver can help you get back on the road.
Gather these things and keep them in your vehicle this season so you can stay safe on the roads all winter long. Keep the phone number for roadside assistance and our shop in your glove box – 262-968-3324 – give us a call anytime, we are here for you! Stay warm and safe this winter!