Is your car ready for the cold?

If you are not ready for the cold that is coming to many parts of the U. S., now is the time to prepare. This may seem like the most basic level, but something as simple as a small bag of supplies can be a literal life saver if you get stranded.

Some items seem pretty standard to keep in your trunk in the winter. A sturdy pair of shoes, a blanket, extra warm clothes, a flashlight, and a small amount of food and water. These will help you in the event your car breaks down whether you need to stay put or walk to get help.

If you are stranded and can’t leave your vehicle, there are some additional items that can come in handy. A candle with matches and/or lighter is one. A simple candle can warm the air in your car several degrees. Just be sure to crack a window to allow more air in as the candle uses up oxygen. If handled properly it is safer than running the car which might build up carbon monoxide inside.

A car charger for your cell phone is another item. If your car is not totally disabled, you can charge your phone to call for help. The last thing you want is a dead cellphone when you need it. Depending on the severity of the situation, it can also allow you to occupy yourself and others while you wait for help to arrive.

Some additional items can assist you in helping yourself. A small shovel is one. With it you can clear snow and ice from around your wheels to free them or clear a path to allow you to get moving. A metal one would be prefered. It will serve you better than a plastic one. In addition sand, road salt or non-clumping cat litter can be used to gain traction if you wheels are spinning. If you really want to be self-rescuing, a Come-along tool (here is a well reviewed example: TEKTON 5547 4-Ton Dual Gear Power Puller ) would allow you to possibly winch yourself into a more advantageous position.

The items above are in addition to some items that really should remain in your car all year long. This list includes booster cables, a tow strap or chain, emergency flares, safety reflectors, and a well stocked first aid kit. These items and a little planning can help you to stay safe and on the road all year long.

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