Just this week in the news there were several major pileups on interstates across the United States. One pileup hit just a little too close to home. My parents were just about to get on Interstate 90 in Erie, PA when the interstate was closed. Folks around Erie, PA are well versed in traveling in snowy conditions but a Lake-Effect snow storm led to a 15-car pileup just miles from my parents’ house. In all the interstate pile-ups people were stranded in their cars for hours. You can never be too safe when you are traveling. Here are some things you literally don’t want to leave home without.
During the summer vacation months, we talked about having an emergency car kit. You can read the complete list of items to have in your emergency kit here.
- Cell phone adapter for your car. This is one of those things that easily gets forgotten but if you are stranded in a remote area your cell phone will continually try to get a signal and drain your battery. If you are in one of those remote areas you might want to put the phone on “airplane” mode until you need to use it to conserve the battery.
- Keep a Winter Car Kit in your car where you can access all the items. Don’t put it in the truck under the suitcases and gifts for grandma. This is the very best list I found from the state of Wisconsin for How to Make a Winter Survival Kit. If you are traveling in an area where snow is likely you must read this list and prepare a kit for your car.
- Prep your vehicle before the trip. Make sure your windshield fluid is the kind that won’t freeze, replace your wipers, complete any routine maintenance like oil changes and make sure you have good treads on your tires. If you are not used to cold weather make sure you have an ice scraper where you can reach it.
Buckle up, stay alert, keep your eyes on the road and minimize distractions while you are driving!