In Arkansas, we can go from record highs on a Wednesday to an ice storm warning on Thursday. This means that we should be ready for anything. In anticipation of an ice storm and the possibility of being on the road for some reason when it all goes down the tube, I put together a little emergency kit. This is built around the idea that I may get stuck, may spin out of control and hit something, or may stop to offer assistance to someone who had one of the previous items happen.
First, get a bag in which you will keep your items.
I like this bag because it fits what I want to put in the kit and I don’t have any sentimental attachments to it.
Next, add a spare blanket for added warmth. If you are stuck in the cold for a while, you may want the additional layer. If your car won’t start, you can’t rely on the heater to keep you warm.
I put the road side emergency kit I keep in the car in the bag. This has some basic first aid provisions, jumper cables, etc etc. If you don’t have one of these, get your jumper cables and a first aid kit to stick in the bag.
Get a bag of the cheapest kitty litter available at your local megamart. This is useful to regaining traction if you lose it. Spread some out in front of your tires and rock the car onto the not kitty-littered ice to be able to get started. If you remember your high school physics, the coefficient of friction says that you can’t regain traction after you lose it on ice. The litter helps you circumvent that nasty physics issue.
I put a spare set of gloves in there just in case I was not wearing ones.
Add a little bit of cash. If you are stuck on the road, you may need a tow truck. Have enough cash to cover a tow or, in the alternative, buy provisions if you decide to huff it over land to your destination.
Finally, a flask with an appropriate dark liquor of choice. This is useful to calm the nerves of someone who has had a wreck, assuming they will no longer be driving. Additionally, you can always fortify yourself for the above mentioned walk for provisions. I chose some of the local Rock Town Distillery Young Bourbon for this task.
You will notice that I left water out of the mix here. If it is getting below freezing, you don’t want a container of water to explode into ice inside your nicely packed bag. Whats in your emergency kit in the car? How do you prepare for being stranded in the winter?
ETA – Another item not originally listed that may just be helpful is a car charger for your portable electronic device. Also, pair those gloves with a warm woolen cap. This time, it is the Arkansas Rye that I find superior to the Young Bourbon. Mmmmm, Rye.