Is Your Car Ready For Winter?

In Wisconsin, we get some crazy weather and here, nothing shuts down for snow. People on the interstates drive at 65 mph whether the roads are snowy or dry. They zip right by me because until after driving in the first few snows, I am overly cautious. I'm the person who is stopped at a red light to make a left turn just glued to my rear view mirror praying that someone doesn't come barreling up and rear end me. 
 
Although being rear ended or slid into is something beyond my control on the roads in the winter, being prepared is not. After 13 winters in Wisconsin, I've learned to put a winter emergency car kit in my trunk after the leaves fall from the trees in October.
 
If you live in a state where snow the snow flies, you should prepare yourself and your car for an emergency. You just never know if you are going to slide into a ditch or get stuck somewhere, and have to wait for help. You can prepare though, and you should.
 
Inside my car in the winter you will find the following things:
 
blanket always comes in handy during long winter drives!
 
Granola bars and water just a couple of each, in case you get stuck and you are hungry.
 
A spare scarf, hat, gloves, umbrella. Keep these inside the car.
 
Charger for cell phone. So you can keep in touch if you get stranded and be located with your GPS inside your phone.
 
Snow scraper/snow brush. This is a staple in a midwestern car. But if you come outside to a car covered in snow or ice and don't have a scraper, a credit card works great! (as long as you have gloves)
 
A bag of sand or salt granules. Keep this in the trunk in case you get stuck in a ditch when pulling over for that beautiful photograph that you (I) just have to take. People used to say to do this to add weight to your trunk, but nowadays, most vehicles are front wheel drive so you don't need to add weight to the rear of your car. However, if you are in a predicament where your wheels are spinning, sprinkling some sand or salt in front of and behind your wheels. This could help you get enough traction to get free.
 
Windshield cleaner/antifreeze. Again, this is part of my trunk kit. I go through a lot of windshield cleaner in the winter, and nothing is worse than driving and getting splashed with salty sandy slush and your washer fluid is empty. One hint: don't ever spray your windshield when driving into the sun. 
 
Jumper cables. Just in case. 
 
First aid kit. 

And finally, I am adding the Zippo Emergency Fire Starter Kit to my winter car emergency kit. After reading about people being stranded for days after getting stuck in snowstorms, it would be nice to have the ability to make fire for warmth if you need it. 
 
The Zippo Emergency Fire Starter Kit is the same size as a Zippo lighter, in a bright orange plastic container. It includes a flint wheel and 5 fire starters that you first unravel, and then hold close to the flint wheel to ignite it. 
 
Thank you to Zippo for sending me the Emergency Fire Starter Kit and refills for review, and for helping me put together a plan to make an emergency kit for not just my car, but for any disaster.  Please like Zippo Outdoors here on Facebook and check out their advice on how to prepare for any emergency. 

 

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