If you live in Minnesota this week and you stepped outside, you probably wanted to go right back in. We are experiencing some of the coldest weather we have had in quite some time.
I asked this question a year ago – “Do you have a winter emergency kit for your vehicle?” I thought it would be a good idea to revisit this again since Old Man Winter is showing no mercy.
This reminds me of the winters where I grew in west central Minnesota. I listed some of the basics which will help you organize your items to make your kit. You should carry this kit in your vehicle during this time of the year. Remember to have enough on hand for each person traveling with you.
Obviously your kit will vary depending on your location – you probably don’t need as much in your kit if you drive and stay in a metropolitan area, where help can get to you rather quickly. But if you motor around in a rural area having a complete kit could make a difference between life and death.
- non-perishable snacks
- paper towels
- toilet paper
- water – smaller containers are easier to thaw. Do not consume snow, it will lower your body temperature.
- tire chains
- ice scraper/snow brush
- jumper cables
- road flares
- phone charger
- first-aid kit
- blankets or sleeping bags
- flashlight with spare batteries
- manual can opener
- extra socks
- extra gloves
- winter boots
- first aid kit
- pocket knife
- If you travel with pets, have their supplies on hand
- shovel – go for a sturdy one with a decent size – not the little, dinky, portable, fold-up style
- sand or litter (not the clumping kind) for traction
- tow rope or chain
If you are planning on taking any road trips during the winter months please make sure to check over your vehicle before you hit the road. Check your tires, battery, fluid levels, wipers, heater, lights and brakes. This is not not a complete list but it’s a start.
If you live in the mountains, remember your chains if needed. I never thought about this until I lived in northern Nevada for over five years.
I have sand bags weighing 130 pounds in my trunk. I have rear wheel drive so the extra weight in the back helps out a lot! Keep your fuel tank full or don’t let it get below half full. My oldest brother drilled this into my head! Yes, Darrel, I was listening to you all those years ago!
Let people know your departure time, expected arrival time and your route. Stay on that route – if you have to make any changes let people know that as well. This is all very helpful if you don’t show up when expected.
If you should become stranded don’t leave your vehicle! Stay put and be patient. Make sure the snow is cleared and not accumulating near the exhaust pipe. Do not leave your vehicle idling. Start it once an hour for about 10 minutes for heat and have a window cracked for fresh air.
I certainly hope you don’t have to use any of this but it is better to be prepared and organized in this type of situation.
Stay warm and snug as a bug in a rug,