Winter weather is no joy to drive in and having problems while en route on a cold winter day can turn fun into an emergency. Always make sure the car is stocked with some essential supplies no matter how short the trip during the winter.
Before leaving home: Check the weather report. If the trip timing can be changed slightly to avoid the worst of the weather then wait it out. Make sure the cell phone is fully charged.Make an emergency box and put it in the car first.Always leave your travel route with a family member and written down at home where it will easily be found. If something was to happen they’ll know where to start looking.Don’t forget to take items that can keep the kids entertained, color books, iPods or hand-held games.
Food Supplies: People traveling with children often bring a few snacks and drinks to keep the kids happy on the road. If there is car trouble or you get lost, more will be needed. Bring several bottles of water for each person or several gallon jugs. Staying hydrated is important. If the problem seems like it is not going to be alleviated soon, ration the water.
Pack some foods that are easy to open, keep well and do not take up much room. Packages of tuna, dried fruits, candy bars, trail mixes and small boxes of cereal are good options. If there is room, bring juice boxes, whole grain crackers and peanut butter. Make sure to have a roll of paper towels and a few utensils.
Warmth: When stuck on a snowy interstate or on the side of the road, the first thing that usually hits people is the cold. Pack several blankets in the car, enough so that each person has one. You can bundle up in the backseat together to conserve body heat if necessary.
If it looks like the situation will outlast your car’s gas, turn off the car until the temperature gets too cold to tolerate then turn the car on and warm it up again. Bring or wear winter boots and have a warm coat, gloves, a hat and extra socks in the car for each person. An extra pair of shoes, at least for the adults, would be handy in case someone has to get out of the car and feet get wet.
If winter travel is a frequent happening, a good investment would be the packets that hunters use to keep their hands and feet warm and the “space blankets” that take up little room and reflect body heat. These items could stay in the car all the time.
Other Essentials: The emergency box should have things in it like a flashlight, extra batteries, matches, hand cleaner, toilet paper, flares, a small shovel, a compass and a small first aid kit. If there is room, add a bag of cheap kitty litter. It can give you traction if you are stuck on packed snow.
If the car is stuck in a place where wood is available, you can start a fire using the matches and use any paper in the car to help get it started. Survivalists start fires with petroleum jelly and cotton balls while using steel wool and a 9-volt battery to produce a spark. These items could be kept in small space such as in an empty mayonnaise jar with a lid. Matches can be kept in the jar, too, to keep them fresh and dry. Another accelerant that can be used is hand cleaner since it is primarily alcohol.
When making a fire, get a good distance from the car, you do not want to set the car on fire. Start the fire on the shoulder of the road in out of the way of possible danger from traffic that may come along. Use the small shovel to remove snow from the area and make a small fire pit. This signal fire can bring help more quickly and provide warmth if necessary.
A handy device is an adaptor that plugs into the cigarette lighter or car 12-volt power outlet and has a standard outlet on it as well as a USB port to charge things like the cell phone. Keep the cell phone charger and this device easily accessible.
More about the author: Donna is a writer at cheapestcarinsurance.org.uk. You may check her site for cheap car insurance rates, and also to compare the car insurance companies before making your choice.