Ready or not, here it comes. Our first big arctic blast of negative zero and single digits arrived this week and thankfully, we’re as ready as we can be. This is typical winter weather for us, so preparing for it is on our radar…usually about September. However, one often overlooked (and very important) piece of the winter preparedness puzzle is our emergency bags for our vehicles.
Most folks spend more time away from home and in their vehicles, these days, than not. We’re the opposite. We may not go into town in the winter for weeks, being 25+ miles from town, and living very remotely on a very winding, 2-lane mountain road. The bottom line? No matter how much time you spend in your vehicle; let’s just say an emergency bag in our vehicles is prudent for all of us!
We carry a large duffle type bag (which I want to switch over to a large tote with a snap on lid) in our main family vehicle, and backpacks in the trucks. Twice a year I go through them and make sure they are ready for the upcoming seasons. Are you ready? Go grab your bag, tote, or backpacks from your vehicles (don’t have this done yet? NOW is the time…go grab one…I’ll wait :)) and let’s go through them and make sure we’re prepared.
This list is by no means exhaustive and you will want to customize it for your family. This bag is meant to carry essentials in the event of some emergency on the road; this could be anything from a flat tire in the grocery store parking lot (where you just need to entertain the kids with water/snacks and books for 30 minutes) to your vehicle slipping off the road in icy conditions, in a remote location (read: no help/no cell signal) where you need to survive for days.
Water (make sure you leave headspace in your bottles for freezing/expansion)
First Aid Kit (I also make sure I have my essential oils, benadryl, a jar of my homemade salve, ACE bandage, BloodStop and medications)
Jumper Cables & Snow Chains
Blankets and Sleeping Bags
Hats, Scarves, Socks, Long Johns and Gloves
Food/Snacks (3 days per person is ideal. Canned goods with pop tops (or remember a can opener!), crackers, granola bars, peanut butter, etc. )
Tea Light Candles & Coffee Can
Can of Sterno and small stainless pan
Hot Hands (hand warmers)
Ax, Hammer, Screwdrivers
Rope, Paracord & Bungees
Bible, Books, Color/Puzzle Books & Pencils
Bear Spray (Pepper Spray)
Weapons,Guns & Ammo
TP & Wet Wipes
Cash (small bills/coins)
Flashlights & Batteries or Head Lamps are great!
Lantern (best battery operated lantern-we LOVE ours!)
Signal Whistles & Flares
Basic Auto Repair Tools
Small Tent/Survival Shelter
Snow Melt/Road Salt…and a collapsible shovel!
I hope this list will get you jump started to knock out the task of getting your emergency bags in order. Even if you don’t have everything you’d like to put in your bag, right now, get together what you do have and get it in your vehicle. Make a list of the rest. It would be better to have something put together if the need arises; than nothing. You can always add to it, and keep a master list for yourself—it will make it easier on you in the seasons ahead. I’d love to hear from you— what do you carry in your Winter Emergency Bags?