MILWAUKEE -- Snow, sleet and slippery roads are all part of the road hazards we face in Wisconsin every winter. Which is why we need to be prepared. Miranda Becker with Blain's Farm and Fleet joins Real Milwaukee with the items we should all keep in our cars.
1. Keep jumper cables or battery booster cables on hand. Sometimes you need a little jump when the temperature drops. A portable jump starter is a lightweight and powerful way to instantly jump-start your vehicle without the need of another vehicle. It also fits easily in the backseat or trunk of your car.
2. Include a pocket knife for added tools. Keep it along with a first aid kit and double-check your kit is fully supplied. A Swiss Army Pocket Knife includes all the tools you might need if you get stranded: large blade, small blade, can opener with a small screwdriver, bottle opener with a large screwdriver, scissors, pliers with wire cutter, Phillips screwdriver and more.
3. Dress appropriately by wearing layers of lightweight clothing. Also have an extra set of mittens, socks and a hat in the car in case you or a passenger forget them. Grabber hand warmers are also a good idea for instant warmth.
4. Flashlights with extra batteries are always great to have on hand. It gets dark early this time of year, be prepared if you need extra light. The Rayovac Virtually Indestructible 3″ AAA LED Flashlight is water-resistant, energy-efficient, compact, and provides up to 160 meters of light. It even has a place to keep a spare bulb in case the old one burns out.
5. Have a distress sign, a brightly colored cloth, reflectors, or a combination of the three in your vehicle if you get stuck and have to wait for help. Reflectors or even flares are advised in cases of harder snow. A warning triangle is great to place near your stranded vehicle for safety and visibility.
6. Have extra blankets or sleeping bags in the back or trunk. These will provide extra warmth if stranded. The Armor All 12V Heated Blanket is 100% polyester fleece with quick warm-up time, heated by a standard vehicle cigarette socket plug.
7. Find a small shovel you can keep specifically in your car at all times. During snowy weather, a shovel-like the Suncast Telescoping Snow Shovel will help get you out if your vehicle gets stuck in the snow. At only 34″ long, this shovel fits easily into your trunk so you can forget about it until you need it.
8. Create a medium bag of kitty litter, sand, or carpet strips to have in case you get stuck. You can sprinkle the kitty litter or place the strips down for additional traction.
9. Pack high energy foods like nuts, or canned and dried fruit. Water and instant beverages are also suggested.
10. Matches, candles, and a 3-pound empty coffee can will provide a pan for melting snow and even heating food if stranded.