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Create a Winter Emergency Kit

Ice on car.

Content provided courtesy of USAA.

It's a hassle any time your car breaks down, but getting stranded in a severe winter storm can be deadly — especially if you're not prepared. Keep an emergency kit in your car to help you stay safe and handle the situation quickly. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends assembling the following items for your kit.

  • Shovel
  • Windshield scraper and small broom
  • Flashlight
  • Battery-powered radio
  • Extra batteries
  • Nonperishable snack food and water
  • Matches
  • Extra hats, socks and mittens
  • First-aid kit with pocketknife
  • Necessary medications
  • Blanket(s)
  • Tow chain or rope
  • Road salt and sand
  • Jumper cables
  • Emergency flares or other hazard signals
  • Fluorescent distress flag

 Other additions to your kit might include:

 Emergency contact numbers, such as roadside assistance service 

  • Fire extinguisher
  • Tire supplies: pressure gauge, jack and lug wrench, foam sealant or a portable compressor and plug kit
  • Basic tools such as screwdrivers and an adjustable wrench
  • Spare fuses, for a quick fix to some electrical problems (see your owner's manual for details)
  • $20 in small bills and change, for whatever might come up
  • Pen and paper, to jot down important info
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