Building your car’s winter emergency kit

By Allstate

Last updated: January 1

Challenging winter weather is a fact of life for much of the country. Frigid temperatures, freezing rain, snow drifts and icy roads may all be part of your winter driving season. Imagine that you’re driving late at night, and there’s a major snowstorm. Or, maybe you have car trouble. Perhaps you slide off the road and get stuck. Or, what if you got into an accident, and now the occupants of multiple vehicles are stranded? Keeping a properly stocked winter car emergency kit may help you survive.

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What to choose for your winter emergency kit

If you live in, or expect to drive through, an area that suffers from winter weather (including freezing temperatures, snow and ice), the Colorado Department of Transportation suggests your emergency kit should include these items:

  • First aid kit
  • Essential medications
  • Flares or reflectors to signal for help and warn other drivers
  • Flashlight
  • Extra batteries
  • Jumper cables
  • Snow and ice scraper
  • Snow brush
  • Survival blanket or sleeping bag
  • Tire chains and/or tow straps
  • Extra set of winter clothes
  • Snow shovel
  • Non-clumping kitty litter or sand for traction

Some extra things to consider

If you want to be extra prepared, recommends a few additional things you may consider:

  • Keep a portable cell phone charger with you.
  • Keep your gas tank at least half full.
  • Have a mechanic check your car's antifreeze, brakes, heater and defroster, tires and windshield wipers to help ensure they are in good shape.

If you have an accident or get stuck in serious weather this winter, you'll be relieved that you were prepared.