Winter weather calls for preparation

Emergency car kits are a necessity


Anna Williams

My emergency car kit is packed in my car and ready to be used. Having it brings confidence that I will be prepared for any circumstance, especially for dangers on winter roads.

Anna Williams

Winter weather brings seemingly unpredictable dangers on the roads. As both high schoolers and novice drivers, it is important that we travel safely, meaning we are paying attention when driving and preparing our cars for many different conditions. Every year, my dad and I create a car kit that has all I need in case of an emergency, and I could not go without it.

In my emergency car kit, I first pack winter clothing, including an additional jacket or sweatshirt, boots, a hat and a pair of mittens. In the instance my car breaks down or I am on the side of the road for an extended period of time, I have items to keep me warm. Along with clothes, for longer drives, I pack a blanket, first aid kit (with matches), water and non-perishable foods, as I never know how long I could be stranded for or the circumstances I might face.

If snow starts piling up, I have a small snow shovel, which can be useful if snow surrounds my parked car or if I am stuck in thick blankets of it. During a deep freeze or emergency situation, I do not want to waste time or my car’s battery by waiting to defrost my windshield, so I make sure to have an ice scraper in my car at all times as well.

Nighttime or near-blizzard conditions can decrease visibility to a near-zero, so I pack a flashlight in case I need to work on my car or signal others for help. Breaking down on the side of the road can put you and passing drivers at risk, especially in low visibility conditions. If I am driving for an extended period of time, I include reflective triangles to make my car more visible.

If the battery of my car goes dead, I will need to jumpstart my car by using jumper cables. Along with that, I have a tool-kit, which is useful year-round in my car.

It is important to me that I have a car kit and am prepared for driving in the winter because I have seen the consequences of being unprepared first hand. I have driven by and had to help people dig their car out of the snow. I lent someone my ice scraper in the school parking lot. I have seen people in the freezing cold on the side of the road and wonder what would happen to them if no one helped or if they didn’t have jackets on.

Though this all may seem over the top, when you are stranded or stuck, you want to be prepared. I can say for a fact that I have used many of these items on different occasions and would have been in more trouble if I did not have them in my car. As the saying goes, “It’s better to be safe than sorry.”