Vehicle emergency kit (Winter)

I was out of town for the holiday break. Coming back to Michigan, we encountered very slick roads, and witnessed 10 cars off the road.

We have an emergency preparedness class for a reason. That reason is that 99% of all threat we face is not interpersonal conflict, it’s us against some condition or event.

Did these people have a charged phone to call for help? (I was driving slow enough to see a glow from each vehicle, presumably their phones while calls were made). Did they have cold weather gear or at least a blanket for each occupant?

How long was their wait until the overtaxed tow-services could get to them?

These are the reasons we prepare. Not just for bad guy with a gun, but so good guys stay safe and keep their families safe.

So what goes into a vehicle kit for the winter? Start with this list:

Vehicle needs:
Ice scraper/brush.
Extra windshield fluid.
Jumper cables.
Air compressor and tire gauge.
Tire replacement tools (jack, lug wrench, etc).
Foam tire sealant.
Fire extinguisher.
Basic tool kit.
Reflective markers and vest (yes, really).
Work gloves and safety glasses.
Tow strap.
Sand or kitty litter for traction. (Or MaxTrax).
Shovel.
Headlamp (with spare Li Ion batteries).

Shelter:
(Assumes occupants already have winter jackets.)
Blanket for each occupant.
Mittens and boots for each occupant.
Lighter, matches, and at least 3 tea candles.

Hydration/Nutrition:
At least 1 bottle of water per occupant.
At least 1000 calories / occupant in energy bars.

Rescue/Mitigation:
Spare cash (approx $300() for towing/hotel, repair.
Phone charger and cable.
GPS (if not in phone).
Paper maps.
Vehicle first aid kit.