Preparedness While in the Car

If this years snowstorms have taught us anything, it revealed that a majority of  the population is not ready for such an event.  There are countless stories of people stranded on the interstates and roadways  without food, water, or proper attire.  I doubt anyone caught on the roadways woke up that day planning to spend the night in gridlock.   That is one of the best reasons to be prepared.  You never know when your day will take a turn for the worse and an ordinarily routine day will turn into a nightmare.  In a commuter city, people spend a large portion of their day in their vehicle, so it only makes sense to have preparations in this mobile home-away-from-home in case you run into the unexpected.  Here at, we have polled our experts and compiled a list of the most important things to keep in your vehicle in case of an emergency like being stranded overnight in a snowstorm.

Comfortable shoes – While high-heels and dress shoes may be suitable for the workplace or meetings, they aren’t really ideal when having to travel long distances on foot, especially in snow and icy conditions.  Make sure you keep a pair of comfortable walking shoes with you in your vehicle at all times.

Seasonal clothing (coat, gloves, raincoat) – Like shoes, it is also very important to carry seasonable clothing.  That miniskirt or suit may look great on you in front of the mirror, but try hiking a few miles in subfreezing weather and see if you still feel the same way.

Blanket – Something like an emergency blanket (Sol Sports Utility Blanket $17.99) to keep you warm in winter months is essential.

Pre-packaged Water – Water may seem plentiful when you have it on tap, but when stuck on the road, you may not have a water source nearby.  (Datrex Water Ration)

Food Rations – Datrex also makes food rations designed for marine use that work just as great in cars.  Put a 2400-calorie pack of Datrex bars in your car and they will last 5 years or more before they need to be rotated.

First Aid Kit – In adverse conditions, it may be difficult or impossible to get emergency medical help when you need it.  A comprehensive medical kit is indispensable in an emergency.

Paracord – It has endless uses.  Carry a 100ft hank of paracord in your vehicle.  We have heard of it being used to hold up a bumper or muffler to make a car drive-able again.

Jumper Cables – A pair of these should be in every car.

Portable Urinal – Where else are you going to go if stuck on the interstate with a few thousand other people?

Toilet Paper – Is an explanation even necessary for this one?

Printed Maps – A GPS or smartphone may be great when they work, but how are you going to navigate those side streets to find your way home if neither are operational?

Weapon – A disaster can break out the best  and unfortunately the worst in people. Be prepared to protect yourself and your loved ones if necessary.  If comfortable with it, learn to shoot and carry a gun.

Kitty Litter – Kitty Litter works great to establish traction on iced-over paved surfaces in an instant.  It can help you get out of a tight spot or up a small hill if necessary.

Prescription Medicines – You never know when you may be unintentionally away from your prescription medicines for an extended period.  We heard of some medical emergencies caused by not being able to access prescription medicines during the most recent event here in Atlanta.

Portable Power Pack – These are great for recharging your cell phone in a pinch when a power source is not available.

Multitool – A good multitool can provide pliers, cutters, a knife, screwdriver and other needed tools that can get you out of a bind when travelling.

Fuel –  While fuel may sound obvious, its a good idea to keep your fuel tank topped off whenever possible.  Definitely keep it over one-forth of a tank.  You never know when you will be trapped on the road without access to a fuel pump.  One of the biggest reasons vehicles were abandoned was because they ran out of gas on the highway.

Gas Can – Keep a 2.5-gallon empty gas can in your trunk.  Despite your best efforts at keeping your tank topped off, things can still happen.  It is great to have a can handy when needed.  It wouldn’t hurt to keep a hand-primable siphon handy also.

Tires – Good tires are a car’s best friend.  Don’t skimp on the tires when it is time to replace them.  The all-weather tires are worth the expense if they keep you moving in an ice or snow storm.  While it may be tempting to save a few bucks on the cheaper tires, this is one area where you do not want to cut corners.

Extra Fuses – you never know when one will blow.  They are very inexpensive but invaluable if you ever need one.  Some automobiles take two different sizes, so make sure you get the sizes your vehicle uses.

Tire Plug Kit with Portable Compressor – A tire plug kit with a compressor can allow you to get back on the road until  you can get a permanent patch in place.  Members of our team have used them multiple times with success.

Duct Tape – It has endless uses.  Carry a portable pack of duct tape for emergencies.

Folding Shovel – A folding shovel is compact and inexpensive and can dig you out of a snow jam.

Weight – If you know a storm is coming and you drive a rear-while drive like a majority of Americans, put some weight in the rear of your vehicle.  This will help you maintain traction.  Bags of sand or cinder blocks work well for this purpose.

Knowledge – In Georgia, there isn’t much opportunity to learn to drive in icy conditions.  Rather than learn as you go, make sure you familiarize yourself with how to drive in various conditions and know the capabilities of your vehicle.  Some vehicles simply weren’t built for all conditions and it is best to find an alternate mode of transportation rather than tackle the ice in a vehicle that isn’t prepared for it..

We hope you enjoyed the list.  Also, be sure to check out our starter Car kit blog.  If you have more questions or concerns, come talk to us about how you can be better prepared for an on-and-off road emergency.