Minnesota is known for its below-frozen temperatures and strong gusty winds, but just because winters are brutal doesn’t mean life doesn’t go on. College kids who attend schools in Minnesota have a long couple of frostbitten months ahead, so it is no question that it is crucial to be prepared for anything. There is a lot to prepare for, from icy roads to snowed-in vehicles—stepping outside is a war sometimes.
Personally, I am always on-the-go because of classes and working two jobs, so it’s important for me to have supplies if anything is to hit the ditch (no pun intended). Here are seven essentials you should add to your own winter prep kit ASAP.
1. A first aid kit. You never know what could happen when you accidently hit a patch of ice and go skidding off the road. In case of an emergency, always call 911, but a first aid kit can come in handy if you need to clean up any bumps or bruises.
2. Water bottles and munchies. You don’t know how fast Triple A or emergency services are going to arrive due to weather and road conditions. I’m always up for something to snack on, so in case of an emergency I won’t have to worry when my stomach starts rumbling.
3. A flashlight and emergency flares. Even though you likely have a phone with a flashlight doesn’t mean you will have the battery percentage to preserve it. Also, always keep your phone charged. In case of an emergency, place reflective emergency flares in your car windows so other vehicles can see you better. This is important to remember because having your car blinkers on aren’t always bright enough.
4. Warm clothing. Keeping warm clothing and blankets in your car is a lifesaver when the temperature is dropping and the wind is rising. It’s not the best idea to keep the car running if you’re ever stuck because that will waste gas, which is something that’s needed for your car to function in the first place.
5. Spare tire. When you are least prepared is when bad things are more likely to occur, so before you hit that unlucky pothole, it is smart to have a spare. Also, know who to call to help you install it if you don’t know how to do it yourself.
6. Tool kit and jumper cables. In case a tire does pop, you will need to use some handy tools. Speaking from experience, it is always best to have jumper cables in the trunk.
7. Candles and a journal. If you light a candle in your car, it will produce some warmth. A journal is always good for writing down what happened in case of an accident or playing tic tac toe with your passenger(s) to make the time fly for services to arrive.
These are just some suggestions for what you should have in your car in case of an emergency. Make sure to also keep some kitty litter on hand in case your tires aren’t gripping on the ice. A miniature shovel could also be useful. The winters are not fun or easy in any way, but let’s not allow the upcoming snow storms to psych us out.
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