Winter in Wisconsin comes in many forms. Snow, ice, freezing rain, freezing fog (yes, that’s a thing). All of these winter events make driving very hazardous.
In a previous job, I used to drive throughout the state and during the winter months experienced some adventurous drives home. The goal was to not get into an accident or end up in a ditch.
This week with the weather being so crazy- with mountains of snow being dumped on us one day and the wind chill being so cold exposed skin can develop frostbite in 5 minutes or less- it makes me realize even more just how important having a trunk was full of winter emergency items really is.
Honestly- I passed four cars in the ditch or even one on it’s roof on my way to work today- and the roads were perfectly clear.. that is… other than the black ice that formed on the roadway because the temperature is below freezing.
So here it is… a list of emergency items that I would recommend that you have in your car during these winter driving months:
- Hat and gloves. This will be helpful if you are stranded or if your car doesn’t start and you are waiting for assistance.
- Blanket. Hand warmer packets.
- An ice scraper. Bonus points if it is the long kind with a brush at the end.
- Small shovel. Useful to help clear snow or ice if you are stuck somewhere.
- Bag of kitty litter. This can be used for traction under your back tires if you are stuck. You can also use a piece of cardboard.
- A fully charged phone. Make sure you have a charger in the winter and it’s not a bad idea to keep your phone plugged in during the winter. Or make sure you have one of those spare batteries with you during the cold snaps. If your car battery dies and you are stranded and it takes a while for help to get to you- you won’t be able to charge your phone with the car battery.
- First aid kit. Tool kit. Jumper cables. All of those things your dad probably gave you when you were 16-21 years old.
- A flash light. One that is NOT attached to your phone. No use making your phone die faster than it has to.
- Towing/Roadside service. You can get this from your Motor Club, auto insurance carrier, and some major credit cards.
- Yes, we can help you with this, although that was not the purpose of this post. You do not need to have auto insurance with us for us to sell you a Motor Club policy.
Expect to wait for awhile during a major snowstorm for your tow because the tow companies will be responding to multiple customers at the same time. Make sure to enter the towing contact info and account number in your phone or carry the identification card with you!
Hopefully, you never have an emergency on the road but if you do it is best to be prepared with these simple tips!