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Emergency Kit for Winter Driving


The holiday season is here. Visiting friends and family is among the many things we do this time of year. As we have decorated the home, baking is underway so planning and partaking in holiday activities is the next thing to do. As we plan for these fun events we must remember to be prepared and safe in the home and in the car.

Having an emergency kit in the car is a good precaution for those traveling during the holidays and for those who are on the road anytime. Some items to have in the car in case of emergency are:

  • Windshield scraper - a long handled one is best.
  • Flashlight - include extra batteries and a bulb. A crank flashlight might even be better.
  • Jumper cables - at least 12 feet long. Portable chargers are also available. Might be a good holiday gift.
  • Flares or hazard triangles (use 3) - place them 50, 75, and 100 feet behind a disabled vehicle.
  • Tow rope - use only to get out of troubled area, not for long hauls.
  • Duct tape - handy for emergency repairs.
  • Small shovel.
  • Bag of sand. - can be used to get traction, if you are stuck on ice or in the snow.
  • Emergency Blanket and hand warmers - to keep warm, if stalled in cold weather.

Many of these items would make good holiday gifts for friends and family members.

Add to these items an extra set of clothes, hat, gloves and boots. It is also good to have some non-perishable food such as granola or energy bars or candy, etc.

Always leave travel plans with a family member or neighbor, so if necessary you can be found or your route traced.

These ideas will help make a emergency a little easier. Always be prepared and be cautious of traveling if the weather report is unfavorable.

If winter travel is in your plans, take time to prepare an emergency kit for your car. Have a good and safe winter and holiday season.

By Lorene Bartos, UNL Extension Educator