There’s a saying that nothing is quite as bad as it seems as long as you’re prepared for it. When winter approaches, it would be wise to keep those words in mind. Prepare yourself and your car for a winter emergency with these 10 items.


A spare phone

Mobiles are in the habit of letting you down when you most need them. To avoid this glitch, keep a burner phone in the glove compartment. In case of an emergency, you can phone a loved one or 911.



It’s bad enough to be stuck in the middle of nowhere, but to be stuck in the middle of nowhere and being cold is even worse. Keeping two or three blankets in the car will ensure warmth for yourself and your passengers. You might want to keep some gloves too.


Food and water

Keep a few bottles of water on hand and a box of breakfast bars. Breakfast bars are rich in protein and will keep hunger at bay while keeping up your strength. You also might want to keep a packet of nuts or raisins.


First aid kit

In case someone is hurt, keep a fully stocked first aid kit in the car along with some painkillers. It might also be a good idea to brush up on first aid in case of a cut, a burn or something more serious.


Jump leads

Cars that sleep outside or in a cold garage might not want to start in the morning. A pair of jump leads will have the engine up and running in no time. Jump leads also come in handy when you’re stranded somewhere and another car comes along.


A bag of sand

While a bag of sand will add weight to your car and thus increase fuel consumption, the additional weight might work in your favor. On slippery roads, the extra weight will give you better traction and should you get stuck in the snow, a sprinkling of sand in front of the tires will give them grip to get out of a slippery situation.


An ice scraper

With an ice scraper, you can remove ice from the car’s windshield. To prevent the windshield from icing up, place thick cardboard between the windshield and the window wipers.

Road flares

In case of a breakdown or an accident, place road flares 30 – 50 feet away from your car. Not only will this make your emergency more visible, you might attract attention from someone who can help.



A torch comes in handy to inspect what’s gone wrong with the car and to signal for help. While there are flashlights that activate by waving them, an ordinary flashlight has a much brighter light. Be sure to pack extra batteries.


A book

Last but not least, keep a good book in the glove compartment of your car. When you have to wait for help to arrive, five minutes might seem like an hour. Having something to read on the other hand not only makes the time go faster but will occupy your mind.