Put together an emergency kit for your vehicle

Having an emergency kit in your car is a good idea no matter what time of year it is. As the winter months march closer, this kit becomes even more important. The items that are in it can help to save your life if you become stranded.

During the winter months, you have to deal with the frigid weather. While North Carolina might not get as much wintry precipitation as some of the more northern states, there is still a chance that residents will see some this year. Here are tips for putting your emergency kit together:

Find a sturdy box

Before you start grabbing items, you need to find something to keep them in. The last thing that you'll need if you are stranded on the side of the road is to have to fish around in your trunk for several minutes while freezing to death. Having them all contained can help you to put your hands on the necessary items much faster.

You can use a carboard box or bag if that's all you have. A good alternative is to buy a plastic tote that has a top. Be sure that you can slide it to the back of the trunk, so you have full use of the rest of the compartment when you are shopping or need it for other things.

Gather basic items

No matter what season it is, you should have jumper cables, flares or reflectors, coolant, motor oil and a first aid kit. Consider tossing in a flashlight, a tool kit and some paper towels. These items should cover some of the most basic needs that you will have if you are ever stranded.

You might want to grab a spare phone charger to toss into the kit, too. If you need to call for help, you don't want a low battery to stop you. Make sure that the charger works with your car's cigarette lighter if you don't have outlets.

Add in other items

Other items are necessary depending on the season. During the winter months, you should add in some blankets, gloves and hats to help keep you warm. Granola or energy bars and bottled water are also a good idea. These can help if you are stuck for a long time. Remember, long-term issues mean that you won't be able to keep your vehicle running the entire time.

If there is a chance that it is going to snow or be icy, keep kitty litter or sand in the kit, as well as a shovel. You can use these to assist your vehicle if it is stuck. Remember, you can't run your vehicle if the tailpipe is buried, so you can shovel it out. Sand and kitty litter can help you get traction on slick surfaces.

Always put safety first if you are stranded. Other drivers might not be looking out for cars on the side of the road. There is a chance that you will be struck by a passing vehicle. If this occurs, protect your right to seek compensation.

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