With the first few snow storms of the season already out of the way in a lot of places, it is definitely time to start thinking about your own winter driving preparedness. You may have all the faith in the world in your car when out set out on a trip on a cold winter's day, but the simple fact is, no matter how much you trust your car, you cannot always trust the weather, especially in the winter. You just never know when fast-falling snow and slippery ice could bring your journey to a complete standstill, leaving you stranded on the side of the road. To make sure you are prepared for a winter driver emergency, there are a few things that you should always have on hand.
1. A Cell Phone - This probably goes without saying as most people keep their phones with them at all times. However, in the cold of winter, it is not a bad idea to keep a spare cell phone tucked away in the glove box just in case you do forget your main cell phone at home. Cell phone batteries will typically stay charged for days if they are not in use, so just make sure you pull out the phone and give it a quick charge about once a week.
2. A Stash of Food and Water - High-protein snacks, such as nuts, peanut butter, or even beef jerky, will be a welcome supply to have on hand if you have to stay in your car for several hours in a snow storm waiting on a towing service to get to you. And of course, water is always a necessity.
3. A Way to Stay Warm - It doesn't take a whole lot to heat a small space like the interior of a car. So if you run out of fuel while waiting for help or you have no heat available, having something on hand for warmth doesn't take a whole lot of effort. Throw a few jar candles and a pack of matches in the trunk, pick up some hand warmers in the sporting goods section, and make sure you grab a few blankets.
4. Battery-Powered Radio and Extra Batteries - If you do get stranded on the road because of inclement winter weather, you will need to keep tabs on what to expect, so having access to local radio stations is a good idea. Pick up an inexpensive handheld radio and keep it in your car through the winter. Don't forget to also include a fresh stash of batteries.