Baby It’s Cold Outside! Keep a Winter Survival Kit in Your Car

It is snowing heavily one night, and you are scheduled to work the late shift at the Byron Generating Station. You put on your coat, get in the car, and head south on Illinois Route 2. All of a sudden, you hit a patch of ice and slide off the road into the ditch. You are not hurt, but it is dark outside and there is nobody around.

A winter survival kit is essential for handling an emergency like this with ease. Unfortunately, many people never get around to assembling one. However, when you consider that the odds of having an emergency during winter are much greater than at any other time of the year, it makes sense to assemble this simple collection of items to keep in your trunk:

  • Whistle to signal for help or to frighten off someone who might be trying to take advantage of your situation.
  • Waterproof flashlight and fresh batteries to help you see when it is dark outside. Bring candles and matches as a backup.
  • Snow shovel to shovel the snow away from the wheels of the car when you are stuck in the snow.
  • Glow sticks that you can wear when you are outside of your car at night.
  • Winter clothing including snow pants, gloves, hat, and boots to help keep you warm while you wait for help.
  • Warm blanket to wrap up in while you wait for help to arrive.
  • Chemical hand warmers to warm up fingers frozen from shoveling snow or trying to change a tire.
  • Bottled water and a few protein bars in case it takes help a long time to arrive.
  • Flares to place around your car in case you have to pull off the road and onto the shoulder.
  • First aid kit in case you are hurt in an accident.

In addition to the items listed above, be sure to bring your cell phone with you when you head out this winter so that you can call for help if you need it.

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