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Survival Tips for a Winter Breakdown: Prepare For the Worst


winter driving - by flickr user Hey Paul

winter driving - by flickr user Hey Paul

You’ve traveled the same road for hundreds of times. You know every twist and turn like the multiplication tables you learned in grade school. What could possibly go wrong?

When the calendar arrives at the winter months, roughly December to March, depending on geographic location, anything goes – and a lot can go horribly awry in a split second. If you’re not prepared and fail to use common sense, your chances of making it through safely during a freak snow or ice storm or a highway where hundreds of cars and trucks are stranded in a blizzard drop precipitously.

Continuing our series, here's the next tip to surviving a winter breakdown:

Pack a Survival Kit

Every car should have a survival kit – to keep in the vehicle at all times. Of course, what’s in that survival kit depends on where you live and where you’re traveling. If you live in the high desert, it will likely be different than if you’re in the upper peninsula of Michigan, in northern Montana, or southern Florida. The more remote the area, the more complete the contents of your survival or emergency kit need to be.

The AAA recommends that a winter car survival kit contain the following:

  • Ice scraper and brush
  • Coffee can furnace
  • Boots, gloves and hat
  • Tools and flashlight
  • Tire traction material -- such as kitty litter or sand
  • Food and blankets
  • Jumper cables
  • Cell phone
  • First aid kit
  • Flares or reflective triangle
  • Shovel

Of course, you can pack more items in your car to have readily available during the winter months. What else you pack is up to you. There are many resources available to give you ideas – and marketers willing to sell you pre-packaged winter survival kits for the car. But you can create your own with little expense just from items you already have around the home.

Even so, take it slow. Just because your vehicle feels like it can make it--with or without four-wheel drive–doesn’t mean that you can safely navigate extreme blizzard conditions, icy sleet or deep snow. Why put your family at risk by going where you shouldn’t?

If you do get stuck, however, there are some things to keep in mind that just might save your life – and that of your family.

Find out more in tomorrow’s segment of Family Car Guide Survival Tips for a Winter Breakdown.

[AAA]

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