Winter survival kit essentials for your car

Winter Car Survival Kit

Winter’s icy roads and plummeting temperatures present greater driving challenges and more dire consequences after mishaps. To prevent problems in the first place, good winter driving sense and a well maintained car are essential. Heed weather alerts, don’t let your gas tank approach empty, and make sure your tires have good tread.

When those precautions aren’t enough, a winter survival kit can help you get out of serious trouble.

Keep yourself warm

  • Carry wool or down-filled blankets or sleeping bags in case you are stuck overnight.
  • Keep a candle and matches in a clean coffee can for providing heat and melting snow.
  • Store non-perishable, calorie-dense food.
  • Pack extra warm clothes, especially hats, gloves, and boots.
  • Stock up on hand, toe, and body warmers.

Get back on the road

  • Have tire chains or cables.
  • Carry sand, road salt, or kitty litter for traction.
  • Keep a small shovel and ice scraper in the vehicle.
  • Pack a tow strap and jumper cables in case someone is around to help you.
  • Assemble a small tool kit, and keep a multi-tool in the glove box.
  • Include an emergency pump, spare tire, or canned inflator and tire sealant.

Communicate and signal

  • Have your cell phone and car charger.
  • Know phone numbers for emergency towing. Check with your insurance company to see if they offer a free service like SECURA's Roadside RescuerSM.
  • Attract help with roadside flares, reflectors, fluorescent distress flags, and LED emergency beacons.
  • Keep a flashlight with fresh batteries.

Remember health and hygiene 

  • Pack toilet paper, a garbage bag, and hand sanitizer.
  • Prepare a first aid kit.

Stay sane

  • Maintain children's morale with cards, games, or books if you have to spend several hours in the car.
  • Use a wind-up radio for weather reports and music, without draining your car battery.


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