DIY Winter Survival Kit
for Your Car

HBTA-DIYWinterCarKi

Frigid temperatures and snow storms are on their way. Don’t get caught unprepared. Create your own winter survival kit before the unpredictable winter weather arrives.

You never know when you’ll be stuck in a snow storm, slide off the road or get stuck in a snow bank.

Prepare by packing your vehicle with a few essentials.

  • Shovel, windshield scraper and/or a small broom
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Battery powered radio
  • Bottled water and snack foods like energy bars, trail mix and raisins
  • Matches and small candles
  • Extra hats, socks and mittens as well as blankets or a sleeping bag
  • First aid kit
  • Tow chain or rope, road salt, sand, or cat litter for tire traction
  • Booster (jumper) cables and emergency flares and reflectors
  • Fluorescent distress flag and whistle to attract attention
  • Cell phone charger

Survival tips:

  • Make sure you keep your gas tank at least half full, especially in the winter. The last thing you want to worry about is running out of gas if you end up stuck in a 3 hour traffic jam.
  • If your car gets stuck, tie a florescent flag on your antenna or hang it out the window. At night, keep your dome light on. Rescue crews can see a small glow at a distance.
  • Stay in your vehicle. Walking in a storm can be very dangerous. You might become lost or exhausted. Your vehicle is a good shelter.
  • Avoid overexertion. Shoveling snow or pushing your car takes a lot of effort in storm conditions. Don’t risk an injury. Plus, shoveling can also make you hot and sweaty. Wet clothing loses insulation value, making you susceptible to hypothermia.
  • Fresh air, even when it’s cold is a good idea. It’s better to be cold and awake than comfortably warm and sleepy. Snow can plug your vehicle’s exhaust system and cause deadly carbon monoxide gas to enter your car. Only run the engine for 10 minutes an hour and make sure the exhaust pipe is free of snow. Keeping a window open a crack while running the engine is also a good idea.
  • Don’t expect to be comfortable. You want to survive until you’re found.

Source: “Top 5 Emergency Preparedness Presents.” Top 5 Emergency Preparedness Presents. Web. 16 Nov. 2014. <http://readywisconsin.wi.gov/winter/Top_5.asp>.

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