If you don’t have a winter emergency vehicle kit already prepared, you should make that one of your next prepper projects.
Most of you who follow the news remember several stories of people stranded in their cars during storms. I remember in January 2014, of the plight of so many people in Atlanta that were stranded in their cars, forced to sleep on the floors of local stores, and a city that looked virtually unprepared for any event like this.
It’s times like this that I wonder how things would have been different if everyone involved had taken the time to prepare a simple winter emergency vehicle kit. I think that there are certain factors that would have made this little amount of snow something to contend with anyway, but the lives of a lot of people could have been much better with a little planning and preparedness.
This type of road incident isn’t unheard of especially in January and it simply makes good sense to have supplies in your car that you can count on if you are stranded.
Before I get everyone from the South upset, I will say that most places in Georgia aren’t used to snow. In the south, snow really is an oddity. The cities in the south do not have the equipment to take care of the snow as well as cities in the north because they so rarely get anything at all it is hard to justify the expense.
The mere threat of any snow sends people to the stores in a panic and forces school closings for days after most of the snow has melted. Snow like this in a city like Atlanta is rare and it is perfectly normal to expect some level of chaos for southern drivers when faced with weather they aren’t prepared for.
There are some things though that I would say are still your responsibility. The weather forced a lot of people to wait in traffic for hours due to accidents or road clearing operations.
Having simple preparations ahead of time (even more so with the threat of inclement weather) would have made these delays more tolerable and could have ensured that more people could have made it home to their families instead of spending the night on the floor at CVS.
What do you need for a winter emergency vehicle kit?
Before I get into the actual content list of items to store in a winter car survival kit, I should bring up fuel. It can’t be said enough that you should have no less than half a tank of gas at all times. Why? Because if for some reason, you aren’t able to fill up, half a tank will last longer and get you more places than sitting on empty. For those people who had to sit in their cars for hours, half a tank of gas could have kept them warm and more importantly moving.
So on to the list. The items below should be in everyone’s car if you go anywhere in the winter. Some of the winter car survival kit items are just as important in the summer and can be considered as core. We’ll list off the items that are specific to Winter, but it will be obvious.
Emergency items to get unstuck
Obviously, as preppers, we want to get out of any kind of emergency situation but if we can’t, we make do. Our first goal is to get our vehicle out if we can and get back home. There are a few items that can assist you greatly in that area.
- Snow shovel – Sometimes snow can accumulate in front of your wheels and unless you move it, your vehicle will just slide on the snow. This melts it and it turns back into ice if it’s cold enough. A snow shovel in your winter emergency vehicle kit can make the chore of cleaning a path much easier.
- Tire chains – A true force multiplier in inclement weather. Tire chains will give any tire much greater traction.
- Battery jumper – Unlike jumper cables, which allow you to get a boost from another vehicle, a battery jump starter allows you to help yourself. This is useful if you are stranded without any other vehicle nearby or cars can’t get to you.
- Spare fuel can – Always empty, this gives you a container for fuel if you run out of gas – which should never happen…
- headlamp – hands-free light if you are trying to get unstuck in the dark.
- cold weather gloves – working in snow and ice is cold and you need protection so your hands don’t stop you from saving yourself
- windshield scraper – snow is easy to get off but ice needs a helping hand. You don’t want to be out there with a credit card.
Emergency items if you are stuck
These items below should be in your vehicle regardless. They are your lifeline and should the worst happen, you don’t want to be without anything down below if you are forced to spend the night locked in your car.
Core- Winter Emergency vehicle kit items
- First Aid Kit
- Blood Stopper Bandages – When a band-aid inst enough
- Bottled Water – Have more than you need
- Fix a Flat or Slime
- Jumper Cables
- Empty Gas Can
- Gloves – Work Gloves
- Rain Poncho
- Paper Towels
- Snack Food – Energy Bars
- Survival Rations – Mainstay Bars
- Good walking footwear
- Spare Batteries
- Fire starting supplies – Lighters/Firesteel
- Spare knife/multi-tool
- Cell phone charger
- Wool Blankets – 2
- Survival Bivvy – 2
- Boots or hiking shoes with good gription (yes that is a word)
- Small Camping shovel – necessary in some locations more than others
- Windshield scraper
- Sleeping Bag
- Wool or Fleece hat/gloves
- Spare fleece pullover
What could you sub in there for Summer? Certainly more water and perhaps sunscreen or shading devices. I am sure we will write on this topic for the summer also. Stay safe by making sure you have these basics with you. They do take up a little room, but you can fit all of this in a decent-sized plastic bin and forget about them. You will be happy they are in the back when you need them.
Is this list the end all be all of the survival necessities? Nope, but it is the basics and you have to start somewhere.
If you want to print this list out, just click on the Print button at the top of the page.