Winter is approaching us quickly in 2014. The last few winters have been somewhat mild, but according to the Farmers Almanac it is going to be a very bitter winter this year.
Being prepared for natural disasters is one of the most important things a person can do to ensure the safety of their life and that of their family. Winter is no exception. The risk of hypothermia is high if you do not know the proper clothing to wear or have a winter kit in your vehicle. Having your car break down or slide off the road can be a recipe for death. However, being properly prepared can keep you alive until emergency personnel arrives.
Below are some items to consider for your winter car kit:
(Note: As with any kit, you will want to design it to fit your region. These are *ideas* to help you start your emergency car kit.)
Shelter and Element Protection:
- space blanket
- Magnesium fire starter/striker and lighter
- Poncho with hood
- Emergency tube tent
- Wool Blanket/ Wool beanie or Hat / Wool Socks / Wool Glove liners
- Change of clothes according to season. Appropriate shoes for walking.
- Bandana to cover your face from the wind should you find yourself on foot.
- Hand/Foot warmers/ Body warmers (Here is a nifty little kit with all in one for a reasonable price.)
Tip: If you are stuck in your vehicle it is safe to run your heater for ten minutes every hour. Just make sure your tail pipe is clear of any snow or debris. We keep a tarp and duct tape in our vehicle so we can block off the back seat or the back of the SUV to retain heat to our location in the vehicle.
Food and Water:
- Filtration water bottle for each family member
- Several gallons (This depends on the size of your family.) of water for drinking or heating for meals or emergency water pouches
- Food/energy bars, powdered soups, camping meals, nuts, jerky or any other snack that will not go bad for a while in the trunk. Make sure to change these items out often to make sure. Hot chocolate or instant coffee would be good to keep as well. Not only would it be a comfort drink it will also help keep you warm.
- Pocket Stove
Communications and Lighting:
- Flashlight and extra batteries or a solar hand cranked powered light with an all weather radio and USB device charger.
- Glow sticks ~ If you use glow sticks, one neat trick I have learned is to tie a string or shoelace to the glow stick and swing it around like a lasso when you see a vehicle. It is much more powerful and can be seen from the sky as well. Most emergency personnel know about this trick as well so it would aid in your rescue.
- Emergency whistle
- Plumber candles – With a little air ventilation these candles last about 8 hours and will also provide heat.
- Survival Guide/ First Aid book
- Multipurpose tool/Swiss army knife
- Duct tape – We use this to tape the tarp down so the warmth stays in the front part of the car.
- Deck of cards, note pad, pencils/pens, List of phone numbers
- Signal Mirror
- Pre-Paid calling phone & card/ emergency cash
- 3 days of prescribed medication
- Compass/ local street map and state map
- Mess kit/utensils or any tin style cup to heat water in.
- Walking shoes/socks
- Fold-able shovel
- Rock Salt
- Toilet Paper
- Gallon of Kitty litter to get traction
- Tow rope
Being prepared can mean the difference between life and death. It is not something to take lightly or put off until tomorrow. Anything can happen to you in your car. Knowing the proper clothes to pack in your kit is important to. Many people do not know the dangers of cotton in the winter. Please do your research and do everything you can to keep your family safe.