Heading “over the river and through the woods” this holiday season to visit Grandma and other relatives? It’s always a good idea when traveling in winter to “winterize” your car for unexpected problems.
Make sure you have:
- A properly inflated spare tire, lug wrench and jack. A flat tire at any time and place is inconvenient, but in winter in rural areas where cell phone service can be spotty, it can be downright dangerous. Prolonged exposure to outdoor frigid temperatures can cause frostbite, hypothermia, cardiac issues and even death.
- A small shovel; tow rope or strap; bag of road salt, sand, or cat litter (to help provide added traction) — in case you get stuck in a snow drift or an icy patch.
- Jumper cables (and instructions on how to use them properly).
- A good working flashlight with extra fresh batteries, flares, a signal whistle, a first aid kit — these are items you should have in your car year-round.
- An ice scraper and snow brush. Don’t be caught off guard by snowfall during the day!
- Items to keep you warm — blankets, box of wooden stick matches in a waterproof container, candles and extra clothing such as heavy mittens, caps and coats in case you get wet from rain or snow while stranded.
- Nonperishable, high-energy foods like unsalted canned nuts, dried fruits and hard candy.