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A first aid kit in your car helps you treat injuries and ailments on the road. A kit can contain bandages, cotton pads, medical tape, curved scissors, antibiotic ointment, antiseptic wipes, ibuprofen and antihistamines, hot and cold packs, and tweezers. Additional items can include instructions for CPR and other first-aid treatments.
Water, of course, is a necessity. If possible, keep a supply in your trunk: one gallon per person per day for three days.
Packing food in your kit will keep you fed in an emergency situation. Non-perishable foods like granola bars, nuts, soup, jerky, and dried fruit are great options.
Cold weather can bring an extra layer of danger if you’re stranded and your car won’t start. Make sure to pack a blanket for every person in your household.
In an accident, a seat belt can jam or car doors become unusable. A seat belt cutter and window breaker tool can help passengers escape, especially if the risk of a fire is present.
After an accident or with some kinds of breakdowns, engine fire can be a risk.
Keep a cellphone (and extra cellphone charger) to call roadside assistance or AAA for towing in case of a breakdown, accident, or weather disaster.
Non-clumping cat litter is useful in wintry conditions, helping the car gain traction out of slippery spots. A bag of litter also helps add weight in your trunk to stabilize and improve traction.
Even without snow, freezing temperatures can create a thick layer of ice on windows. Keep a heavy-duty ice scraper with a snow brush on the other end to remove snow from the rest of your vehicle.
Have a foldable shovel on hand to dig out snow from under tires before you spread kitty litter under them.
From using tools to dialing a cell phone, it’s difficult to do anything to help yourself if your fingers are frozen. Even worse, frostbite is a severe danger. Make sure you pack chemical hand warmers, which can provide heat from 1 to 10 hours.
An emergency blanket is an item you don’t realize you need until you need it. It’s a shockingly versatile tool that can prevent body heat loss, collect water, serve as a rain poncho or makeshift shelter, work as a flotation device, or reflect light to signal for help.