Travel Cheat Sheet of the Month: DIY Winter Emergency Roadkit

Car in a ditch

Attention road warriors! Whether or not you love winter  (and the driving conditions that come with it), you should pay attention to the 2014 winter forecast for several regions of the U.S. from the likes of AccuWeather, the Weather Channel and the National Weather Service. Even the most experienced drivers can run into unexpected emergencies when the roads get slick. That’s why it’s so important to be prepared for your winter travels (and those important business meetings!) with your very own emergency road kit. Not a big do it yourselfer? No problem!  You probably have many of these items on hand — if not, most can be found at your local drugstore, supermarket, or auto parts store.

  • Bag of sand, salt or cat litter (for traction if you get stuck in snow)
  • Battery-powered radio with extra batteries
  • Blankets
  • Booster cables, flares, tire pump
  • Cans (to melt snow for water)
  • Candles and waterproof matches
  • Canned compressed air with sealant (for emergency tire repair)
  • Chains or rope
  • Compasses and maps (don’t rely on your smartphone or GPS system in your car for Compass and mapemergency situations – anything can go wrong!)
  • Emergency warning flares or triangles
  • Extra winter clothing, such as gloves, hats and jackets
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Ice scraper and a snow brush
  • International Driving Permit (IDP ) if you’re planning on driving abroad
  • Nonperishable snacks and extra water
  • Paper towels
  • Plastic bags (for sanitation)
  • Portable cell phone charger
  • Roadside Assistance Membership Card
  • Shovel
  • Travel Assistance Membership Card – if you get sick or hurt and need emergency medical assistance when you’re more than 50 miles away from home.
  • Toolkit
  • Travel first-aid kit

Note: It’s also a good idea to check with your mechanic in case there are other precautions you should take specific to your car.

For more winter driving tips, you’ll also enjoy reading:

Winter Driving Tips Part 1: Winterizing Your Vehicle

Winter Driving Tips Part 2: Driving Advice for Winter Travelers


Photo credits:

Car in ditch from Theonlysilentbob

Car trunk from  State Farm

Compass and map from Simon Shek