Winter months bring heavy wind, snow and ice that could result in emergency risks such as auto accidents, falls, and even power outages that could cause hypothermia or frostbite. This is why it is important to stock items in your home and car for winter emergencies—it could save your life and the lives of your loved ones or passengers.

Here’s how you can maximize safety in your home and vehicle:


There are many ways winter weather impacts a region, so it’s important to keep certain items at your home if your area typically gets snow. 

  • Snow Shovel and Rock Salt. You may already have a shovel and salt on hand to clear sidewalks and the driveway. But did you know that salt and cat litter can also help with traction once you have cleared the area?
  • Blankets. When the power goes out, if you do not have a generator, you’ll need layers to keep yourself warm.
  • Canned goods. The timeline of power returning after an outage can be unpredictable. That’s why it’s important to keep more than just the food you have in the fridge for eating. Keep canned goods on hand, but remember to check them season to season, as they keep longer than other foods, but not forever.
  • Flashlights and batteries.  You never know how long the power will be out, so store extra batteries for your flashlights to avoid obstacles while walking around your home.
  • Portable chargers for electronics. Communication can be crucial to letting your loved ones know you’re safe and sound. Consider investing in “charging bricks” for cell phones in case power is lost, especially if you do not have a land line. 
  • Generators. Those who live in frigid temperatures may need to invest in an alternative heat source such as a generator.
Winter Safety


Regular maintenance is important to avoid breaking down in bad weather or in a remote place. Did you know that car batteries drop with the temperature? For both gas and electric powered cars, the battery systems must work harder to start up. 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also recommends you:  

  • Keep antifreeze and windshield washer fluids at the right level 
  • Replace dull windshield wipers 
  • Check to see if your floor mats secure to your vehicle to prevent interference with the pedals 
  • Inspect tire tread if your tires are older so you don’t get stuck in snowy conditions
  • Create a winter emergency kit stocked with: jumper cables, a cell phone charger, a first aid kit, a flashlight with extra batteries, a spare tire, water bottles, snack food such as energy bars and a blanket.

 If you think you could run into any problems driving this winter, consider enrolling in Triple AAA roadside service so you’ll be taken care of in an emergency. Remember – it’s a good idea to ask your loved ones if they’ve taken similar steps to be prepared for bad winter weather. 


By Margaret Schmidt