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Every winter, we hear horror stories of people who got trapped in their car, or stuck in the snow. No, these aren’t the stories your friends tell of the time they broke their key opening a frozen door, or of scraping windshields with credit cards. Some of these stories have heart wrenching endings. Something as simple as changing a flat tire can be a life altering experience when you have to do it in below freezing conditions.

Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst, a night in your car. The items available in your winter preparedness kit would make your ordeal a little easier, or even save your life.

A winter preparedness kit has nothing to do with repairing your car. It’s just a good-sized bag for carrying a few, well thought out items, to keep you and anyone else in the car comfortable in the event of an emergency.

Things you need in your kit.

Sustenance

Sounds crazy, but rescue teams advise that you carry a can of dog food in your kit, even if you don’t have a dog. Reason; people eat the food in their kits too soon. The dog food will be a last resort, and is eaten when it’s really needed. It also works as a warning sign, if you’re chowing down on dog food in the middle of a blizzard, you know you’re in trouble. You should also pack some granola bars and bottled water though.

Warmth

Keep a blanket in the car to help you stay warm while you wait for the rescue team, or a thaw. A superb item to keep in your car would be a Snuggie. Yes, I hear you, all your friends would disown you if they found out you own a Snuggie, but they come in handy. Firstly, they make for great blankets, and secondly, they are easily worn under your clothes, adding a layer of warmth.

A pair of gloves or glove warmers (which can be put in your socks) will be a Godsend when you’re stranded with no heater.

Light

If you have to change a tire, or open the hood to tinker with some wires in the dead of night, light comes in handy. Most people would go for a flashlight, forgetting they lack a spare hand to hold it- one for the light and two to fix whatever needs fixing. Go for something with a band that you can strap onto your head and not worry about until you’re done.

Snow and ice scraper/small shovel

How many times have you had to remove a layer of ice from your windshield and wound up with nothing more than a frozen hand? An ice scrapper with a mitt that goes around your wrist helps keep the fallback from getting in your glove. In case you need to dig yourself out of deep snow, a shovel should also be part of your kit.

By all means, feel free to add whatever you think is necessary to your kit. The better prepared you are, the higher your chances of surviving through a miserable night, or a couple of days in your car. Whatever you decide, get some things together and put them in your trunk so you’re prepared for anything.

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