Winter Emergency Car Kit: What You Need and Why

 In Safe Driving Guide

Now that we’re settled into winter, winter weather isn’t far away. With that in mind, it’s time to make sure your winter emergency car kit is well-stocked and up-to-date.

Nationwide and the State of Illinois both have suggestions (many of which overlap!) about what you need to keep in your car this winter.

Extra Clothes

You’ll want blankets, a sleeping bag, and hand-warmers for sure, and maybe an extra scarf, hat, gloves, leggings, and sweater.

Ice Scraper/Snow Brush

You need to remove all ice and snow from your windows before you drive, and it might not be only in the morning that it’s required. If it’s cold and snowy while your car is sitting in the office parking lot, you’ll want a scraper on hand to take care of it before you drive home.

Washer Fluid

It sounds like more of a summer bug-removal solution, but you use a lot of washer fluid in the winter, too. Carry an extra jug in your trunk.


Sand and cat litter will work, too, to help you gain some traction under your tires on an icy surface. Keeping some in your car could provide peace of mind as you leave your parking spot, or it could help you out of a sticky situation if your car slides off the road or gets turned around.

Flashlight and Batteries

This can help you find items in your car if it’s dark, and can help other cars or rescue teams find you.

First Aid Kit

You can purchase pre-made kits that are stocked with everything you need.


This is a mini-list all by itself that includes a pocket knife, jack, lug wrench, and shovel, as well as a tow rope and jumper cables.

Food and Water

You never know when you could get stuck in your car, and you want to make sure you have plenty of food and water to last until help arrives. Good options include protein bars, candy bars, nuts, seeds, and dried fruits. Water is more important than food, but eating provides a small comfort while you’re waiting for help.

Hopefully, you’ll enjoy safe driving all winter long, but it’s good to be prepared with a winter emergency car kit in case something happens. We’ll be doing our part with salt and ice melting pellets for the roads! If you need some for your driveway or neighborhood, contact Salt Industries.

Driving in a Snowstorm