Keeping a Winter Emergency Kit in Your Car Could Save Your Life

As snow starts to fall in many parts of the country throughout the winter, it’s a good idea to be prepared for anything. Keeping your car maintained to handle the harsh elements is one thing, but being prepared for the worst scenario when you’re on a long, snowy road trip is another. In those cases, keeping a winter emergency kit in your car could prove to be a life-saving measure.

Winter emergency kit

According to NHTSA, 17 percent of car accidents occur during winter driving conditions. And while you might be experienced when it comes to driving in the slippery white stuff, anything can happen at any second. So in case the worse does happen, here are some of the items that you should keep in your car if you ever get stranded or injured.


A flashlight is a great tool to have in your car at any time of year, however, it can be extra useful in times of an emergency. During wintertime, blizzard or snowy conditions can reduce your visibility to almost zero, so a bright flashlight can always shed some light on any situation.

A durable emergency flashlight.
A durable emergency flashlight | Allison Long/Kansas City Star/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

A bag of cat litter

While cat litter works great for your cat, it also works well for traction in the snow. In case your car ever gets stuck, you can pour non-clumping kitty litter in the pathway of your car for some added grip. Sand or road salt works well too.

Snow shovel

While the area you currently live in might not see that much snow, you never know if you could tread into deeper snow paths when on a long car trip. That’s why it’s a great idea to carry a small snow shovel in your car to dig it out in case you ever get stuck.

IN THIS PHOTO: Minneapolis, MN., Monday, 12/18/2000. (center) Andrew Jett used a friend’s car to help jump start his truck with a dead battery near the intersection of 32nd and Holmes in south Minneapolis.(Photo By BRUCE BISPING/Star Tribune via Getty Images)

First aid kit

This one is almost a no-brainer as it’s always good to the first-aid kit in your car in case you’re injured in an accident or simply need a band-aid at some point. It’s also a good idea to pack any medications that you regularly take in the kit as well in case you get stranded somewhere.

Ice scraper

Just about everyone that lives in a snow state most likely has an ice scraper on hand. But in case you don’t have one handy, then make sure to get one as ice and snow can build up quickly on your car if you’re parked on the side of the road for a lengthy period of time.

A woman clears snow from her car during a storm in Newton, MA, on December 05, 2020.
A woman clears snow from her car during a storm in Newton, MA, on December 05, 2020. | Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Jumper cables

It’s always a good idea to keep a set of jumper cables on hand. But that goes double for when it’s dumping snow outside. The cold weather can drain a battery quickly, so it’s a good idea to have cables in an emergency situation.


Keeping a jug of water in your car could literally be a life-saver as dehydration can set in if you’re ever stranded.


A large thick blanket can not only keep you warm, but it can do double-duty as some extra padding if you need to work on your car in the case of an emergency.

The windshield wipers and wiper blades of a snow-covered car
The windshield wipers and wiper blades of a snow-covered car | Robert Alexander/Getty Images


Along with the threat of dehydration, you’ll most likely get hungry if you’re ever stranded on the side of the road. For those instances, make sure to pack non-perishable snacks like granola bars, nuts, dried fruit, or crackers.

Tool kit

Whether you know how to work on cars or not, having a basic set of tools on hand could mean the difference between getting back on the road or staying stranded.

Reflective triangles

If your car ever breaks down on the side of the road, it can be difficult for other drivers to see you. A set of reflective triangles to put near your car can help with other drivers being able to see you clearly and maybe even stop to help you.

A BMW rushing on a snowy tree-lined road | Getty Images
Closeup of BMW rushing on a snowy road | Getty Images

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There’s a lot of stuff, but they can save your life

While this list of emergency items is rather lengthy, keep in mind that any of them can help you in your time of need and could even possibly save your life. Be prepared, because Mother Nature can be relentless when you’re on the road.