By: Brenda J Jensen
An emergency car kit should be an essential part of you preparation for travel in any kind of weather, but is even more important for winter. Preparation is the key to your safety. If there are winter storm warnings and watches don't travel unless absolutely necessary! If you must travel here are some tips to help you survive.
Make sure your vehicle is in good working order. This is even more important in the winter. Do your lights work? Are your brakes in good working order? Do you have good tires? Tire chains are a must it traveling in the mountains in winter! Are your tires inflated properly? Do you have a good battery? (In the severe cold a bad battery will be one of the first things to die.) Are your windshield wipers in good working order? Do you have windshield wiper fluid and is it the kind that won't freeze? Is your window defrost working in the front and back? Do you have enough oil? Is your gas tank at least 1/2 full? Check the weather for traveler's advisories. This will help you to know what to expect and to choose the safest route for travel and know when it's the safest time to travel.
Be prepared to go slow! Bridges and overpasses may be icy. It will take you a lot longer to slow down and stop on slick roads. Leave a lot more room between you and the other vehicles. Be prepared to be patient with other drivers. Make sure you have an emergency car kit. Also make sure your cell phone is fully charged.
You also need to have gloves or mittens, scarf and cap, snow boots, a cell phone car charger, blankets or sleeping bag and some snacks and water in case you get stuck or break down.
If you break down or get stuck DO NOT leave the car! Call for help if your cell phone is working. Start your car and run the engine for 10 minutes every hour while stuck, to use the heater. Periodically check to make sure your tail pipe is not blocked. When the engine is running turn on the lights. Tie a red or brightly colored cloth to antenna. Do not use electrical devises while engine is off. If you have children with you, make sure you have things to take care of their needs like diapers, bottles and formula, extra food and treats, warm clothes, etc. Don't forget something for them to do like color books, story books, small games etc.
If you have to get out of the car avoid strenuous exercise or exertion. Sweating will only make you colder. Don't forget exercise is harder on your body in the cold, so take things slow and don't over exert.
Before I leave for even a short trip like to the grocery store in the winter make sure you ask yourself this question: "If I had to get out of my car for any reason am I dressed warm enough?" Make sure you have your gloves, hat and shoes or boots. So make sure your vehicle is in good working order and be prepared for bad roads and storms. Safe winter travels everyone! Winter travel can be fun if you are prepared!
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Article Source: Emergency Car Kits and Winter Travel