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Preparing Your Winter Weather Survival Kit

Published in Trauma Services, Emergency Services, For the Health of It Author: Misty Lemke, CentraCare Emergency Communications Center Manager

Even the most mild of MInnesota winters still has its days where the conditions are hazardous. 

Obviously, keeping updated on the weather and not venturing out in extreme weather conditions is the first part of staying safe. You also can check updated road conditions at

But in those case where travel is necessary, having a survival kit in your car may save your life if you get stuck. But even during “normal” winter conditions, having a survival kit can be reassuring — as you never know when icy roads or cold conditions can leave you vulnerable.

Among the items to make sure you include in your winter driving survival kit include:

Basics & Automotive Essentials

  • Hat, gloves, boots, warm jackets, blankets and/or sleeping bags — be prepared in case you have keep warm without running the engine
  • Cell phone charger
  • Snacks of long-lasting food (raisins, granola bars, miniature candy bars and candies)
  • Bottled water
  • Ice scraper
  • Battery booster cables

Helpful Tools

  • Shovel
  • Flashlight
  • Candles/matches
  • A red bandana or cloth
  • Tow cables or chain
  • Ice melt, sand or cat litter to help your vehicle with traction

If you become stranded, do you best not to panic. Call 911 for help. Provide your location, the problem you are experiencing and don’t hang up until you know who you have talked with and what will happen next.

Plan to stay in your vehicle, unless told otherwise by authorities. Walking in a storm can be very dangerous. Your vehicle can be a good, safe shelter while waiting for help or for the storm to pass.

Review more winter survival tips from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.