We have been lucky in Illinois this winter. We have not yet seen bitter cold or a large shower of snow. But, it is pretty doubtful that we will get through the entire winter season without either of the traditional markings of an Illinois winter.
With that in mind, Patch has compiled a list of items you should keep in your car during the colder months. Much of the information below was compiled from weather.com.
- First Aid Kit: This is something that you should actually have in your car year-round. A basic one can be used for everyday bumps and bruises. A more extensive one could help if you come across an emergency.
- Flares: Again, this is a good idea to have in your car year-round. If you happen to have car trouble or if you get in an accident, chances are that the event is not going to happen in a convenient place. Having flares alerts other drivers to the hazard in the road as well as giving an alert for emergency crews if they happen to be needed.
- Jumper cables: We have all been there - a dead battery and a perfectly willing friend to help you jump your car, but no one has any jumper cables. If you keep your own set, you will never find yourself searching. But you should definately learn to use them.
- Blankets and extra winter clothes: If you are stranded and either need to stay with your car or walk to get help, having extra layers can keep your warm and allow you to be more comfortable.
- A bag of sand: When I began driving, I remember my father putting sand bags in the trunk of my car. It weighed down the rear of the car to cut down on fishtailing - at least that's what he said. Also, though, if you find yourself stuck in a snowbank or on ice, it can help to give your tires traction to get you out of the jam.
- Small shovel: A small shovel that will fit easily in your trunk. It can help clear snow from your tires if you need.
- Hand warmers: You know the ones that you break and they turn hot? If you have to fix something under the hood, scrape ice or snow away, etc., these can warm your hands quickly.
- Bottle of water and a few protein, snack bars: If you find yourself stuck, having water and snacks can make a huge difference.
- Flashlight: Not only can you signal for help, but you can use this to see to fix small problems on the car.
- Whistle: We know everyone has cell phones these days. But after a while, it could lose battery power. Or, the phone could be in an area with a low signal. A whistle could help signal for help if you are in an area not easily seen from the road.