As the seasons change, it’s time to pay attention to your emergency winter kit for your vehicle. An emergency winter kit is a handy accessory to have available for those “just in case” moments that could leave you stranded on the side of the road or in a remote location. Below, the experienced professionals from Altra Insurance Services, a premier provider of auto insurance San Diego drivers trust for high-quality service and reliable, affordable coverage, go over what to include as you prepare to update your own car emergency kit for the winter.
Winter breakdowns don’t always happen at the most convenient time of day. Err on the side of caution and include a flashlight in case you break down or have an accident when it’s dark. It’s also a good way to have a backup in case you can’t find your phone or your phone lacks this particular feature.
If you get stuck in the snow, cat litter comes in handy by providing extra friction around the wheels. Rock salt works well in a pinch, too, if you don’t have cat litter. The main goal is to have something available to get your wheels unstuck so you can return to the road.
Put a snow shovel in your winter kit—or the trunk of your car, at least—so you’ll be prepared to dig yourself out if need be. Just make sure the shovel is in good shape, meaning it has no major dents or dings.
An Ice Scraper
Frost on your windshield can seriously affect visibility when you’re driving. Keep an ice scraper handy in case you need to remove caked-on ice from your car’s windows. When it’s bitter cold outside, it only takes a few minutes for ice to form on car windows if there’s moisture from snow on them.
Note: While you can always defrost your windows, it’s best to not waste your battery.
For times when your battery runs down during a winter car emergency, you’ll appreciate having jumper cables to get enough power to make it to a nearby gas station or similar place where you can get help. Watch out for moisture near the cables if you need to use them while it’s snowing, and avoid touching the clamps.
A Phone Charger
You don’t want to be without access to a phone when it matters most during a winter car emergency. Make sure your winter car emergency kit includes a charger that’s compatible with your current phone.
A Reusable Water Bottle
You definitely don’t want to get dehydrated while you wait for help. Keep a reusable water bottle in your kit, and make sure it’s filled with fresh water before you hit the road. You can also include energy drinks in your kit, since sealed bottles and cans tend to last a long time.
Minimize the length of time you’ll need to run your car’s heater if you have to wait for a while in your vehicle. A blanket can provide extra warmth while also reducing your dependence on your battery. Include a few extra blankets in your kit in case you have other people in your car when a winter emergency occurs.
A First Aid Kit
Lastly, don’t forget a freshly stocked first aid kit. Even if you already have one, make sure the supplies in it are fully stocked and haven’t expired. Essential supplies for a first aid kit include:
• Sterile gauze pads
• Antibiotic ointment
• Elastic bandages
• Hydrogen peroxide
• Hot and cold gel or pads for sprains and strains
Your insurance agent can provide you with additional tips for staying safe on the road in the winter. If you’re looking for reliable car insurance and high-quality service, call on the trustworthy agents from Altra Insurance Services. We can also provide you with motorcycle, renters, and home insurance. San Diego residents should give us a call today at (619) 404-6311.