Imagine that you're visiting friends in their country house and you get a flat after spinning on ice. It's the countryside so the reception is not good. Your phone is dead anyway because it's very cold and you forgot to charge it last night. You don't have a spare tire. You don't have the tools to change it even if you do have one. The kids are getting hungry and you're out of candy to give them and keep them quiet for a little bit. The car is on so they can stay warm inside but you're running low on gas. You obviously can't get to a gas station but you don't have a fuel container in the trunk. No one can be more unprepared than you. While you can't always avoid getting a flat, you can always prevent the other circumstances.
Going on a road trip in the winter is an exciting quest which can quickly become dangerous if you're not prepared. A car emergency kit can be the difference between getting home safely and being stranded for days hoping other adventurers will pass by and help.
You most likely have insurance and a phone number you have to call in case of an emergency, but what are you going to do while you wait for an assistance team to get to you? You don't want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere cold, hungry and hopeless.
You can store many necessary survival items in the glove compartment in case the trunk is full of other stuff. Choose small packages to save even more room.
If you have to leave the car to search for help, leave a piece of paper with your name, phone number and destination. Maybe you'll get lucky and someone will pass by. It's a good idea to always tell someone where you're going before you head out. Just in case any of the above-mentioned situations transpire.
Don't get too comfortable. If it's not snowing heavily, get out of the car and get some air. Don't fall asleep inside. The snow can block your car's exhaust pipe leaving you breathing carbon monoxide which is poisonous. At least keep the windowsn open if the engine has to be on all the time.
Don't ever get caught unprepared. Make sure you have the items on this list in your car. It can save you and your passengers' lives.
- Hristina Byrnes, The Active Times