Vehicle Preparedness: Emergency Kit

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The leading cause of death during winter storms is transportation accidents. Preparing your vehicle for the winter season and knowing how to react if stranded, lost on the road, in an accident are the keys to safe winter driving. I was recently in an accident and it was about 19 - 20 degrees outside. I was cold to my core but had to remain outside the vehicle for the police and other parties involved. I was lucky enough that my vehicle could still safely run with the heat on. Basically, I wish I had been more prepared. So what can you do? It is as easy as 1-2-3!

1. Dress warmly and wear layers of loose-fitting, lightweight clothing so you can adjust with the temperatures and conditions.
2. When the weather turns cold, add these few extras to any "Basic Emergency Kit"* which should be in your car at all times:

WINTER VEHICLE KIT:
  • Hand Warmers: instant heat packs - Carry 4 per person — it'll give you 8 hours of warmth if you're stuck
  • An Snow-brush and Ice Scraper: Don't get a cheap one, make sure it is solid and durable.
  • De-Icer Washer Fluid
  • Blankets/Sleeping Bags: You can use an emergency bivvy as well.
  • Snow boots: Assuming you are not wearing them that day.
  • Extra Pairs of Wool Gloves
  • A Hat and Scarf
  • Food and Water: Carry a supply of high-energy snacks and a bottle of water just in case you get stuck.
  • Sack of Sand, Cat Litter, or Snow Melt (Salt) - For traction.
  • Small Snow Shovel
3. Keep your gas tank at no less than half a tank to avoid freezing the tank and fuel lines. Let someone know your timetable and primary and alternate routes if they don't already.

Okay, so maybe the last one was more than one thing but I think you all can manage.

* More on this topic later.

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