Before I had kids I wasn’t very worried about winter driving safety. I probably drove too fast, changed lanes too often, and rolled through my stops — even when it was wet or snowy outside. But now that I have kids, I see the error in my ways.
As a new mom, I have been in so many situations where I’ve panicked because I forgot something when I’m out and about! With kids, this can sometimes be a really BIG problem. This year, I was determined to make sure that I never let myself get into these sticky situations so I created an emergency car kit!
With most of the country in the 50’s and 60’s right now it is hard to believe but winter will be here before we know it. Winter typically hits fast and without much warning here. We go from summer to fall to winter in 48 hours so you need to be prepared BEFORE it feels like you need to be prepared. For me, as soon as Halloween is over I get my car ready for the Winter weather and that includes a Winter Car Safety Kit. Are you ready for snow and ice? Is your car ready?
Here’s a list of things you need to check now to get your car prepared for the snowy icy months:
- Antifreeze and Radiator
- Windshield wiper operation and fluid check (no-freeze mixture)
- Heater and Defroster
- Brakes and Brake Fluid Level (so important!)
- Emergency Flashers
- Tire Pressure and Tread Depth
- Fuel Level
- Oil Level
- Battery Charge and Terminal Cleanliness (you do not want to have this die on the side of the road in a blizzard!)
- Fan belts
- Spark plugs
- Air and fuel filters
Don’t get stranded — get your car Winter weather ready today with a winter safety kit. We keep a small duffel bag in the trunk of each car year round with most of these items. I add the winter items around Halloween since we never know when winter will hit:
- change — for tolls or parking in the city. It’s rare, but there are still situations in which you can only pay with change, so I always keep a roll of quarters in the car.
- cell phone
- phone charger with safety hammer & seatbelt cutter & flashlight(stays in the car)
- first aid kit (stays in car)
- simple toolkit (stays in the car) — a small wrench set, socket set and a pair of pliers will do most of the tasks required, but throwing in a few screwdrivers, some electrical tape, duct tape, a tire pressure gauge, and spare fuses will make it even better. If you can fit a full-size or folding shovel, I’d highly recommend one as well. It could mean the difference between being stuck or getting home to your loved ones.
- rescue tool (stays in the car as it is also the phone charger) — the primary purpose of an emergency is escaping from a vehicle, which in the event your vehicles takes a dive into a body of water, you’re most likely not going to be able to simply roll down the window to escape. Look for a tool that has both a seat belt cutter and a glass breaker.
- jumper cables (stays in the car) — if I were to be stranded on the side of the road, I could charge my battery without having to track down a stranger to help me. I definitely think this is something that every woman should consider having in their car!
- snow tires (added on in October)
- emergency signaling(stays in the car)- the purpose of an emergency signaling device is two-fold, it can be used to alert oncoming traffic to your presence on the side of the road and can also be used as a distress signal in an emergency. Road Flares are great because in addition to the two uses mentioned above, they can also be used to start a fire
- keep a full tank of gas — I fill up when I hit half a tank
- blankets and gloves (stays in the car)
If you travel with kids then you will usually have snacks/drinks/blankets on hand all of the time. But if you don’t keep these items in the car that is okay! Just grab a 6 pack of water (or more depending upon your need/want) and some shelf-stable items and stash them in a small duffel along with a blanket.
Also, you should be able to change a flat. A Jack and Lug Wrench (Tire Iron) are essential and without them, you won’t be able to change a flat tire. Hopefully, the items that came with your vehicle are still in it. If not, it’s time to take care of that problem. For those who could possibly be unfamiliar with a Jack and Lug Wrench, a Jack is what lifts the vehicle to change a tire, and a Lug Wrench is what you use to remove the lug nuts that hold your wheel on. Be sure that your Jack is complete and in good working order. With most Jacks, there’s a rod that’s used to turn the Jack to raise it, so make sure you have it. If you have an aftermarket lift on your vehicle, I’d hope you don’t need me telling you this, but your factory jack might not reach high enough anymore to enable you to change a flat.
It’s important to be prepared out there because you never know what’s going to happen. Having some important supplies and keeping your vehicle in top condition, move the odds further in your favor.