Last month, an unexpected snow storm in the Northeast U.S. left thousands stranded (some for more than a week) without power. You may be preparing for winter emergencies in Missouri by stocking extra food, batteries, flashlights and warm blankets—but you probably haven’t thought to do the same for your car.

Since most winter weather deaths occur in cars, a good way to prepare for winter is to put together a car emergency kit. Whether you are stranded in a snow storm or injured in a Gladstone traffic accident, a good car emergency kit will help keep you safe until help arrives.

Here are twenty essential items that our Gladstone, MO auto accident lawyers advise you to have in your trunk this winter:
  1. Cell phone: Keep an extra charger in your car, so your phone will be ready for any emergency. 
  2. Flashlight: Make sure you have an extra set of batteries. An LED light is nice because it has a longer shelf-life than a conventional flashlight. 
  3. Light sticks: These don’t use batteries and can last up to 12 hours. 
  4. Ice scraper: Use this for removing frost and ice from windows. 
  5. Snow brush: Choose a brush with a long handle so you can reach the top of your car. 
  6. Road flares: If your car breaks down on the side of the road, make sure your car can be seen to avoid a Missouri highway accident. 
  7. Water: If you are stranded in your car, you should drink about half a cup of water every hour. Water is also useful for washing wounds and cooling overheated engines. 
  8. Water bottles: Make a habit of bringing reusable water bottles with you when you travel. You will save money on bottled water and you will have portable water if you need to leave you car. 
  9. Food:Keep some high energy snacks in your car. The food in your car will be exposed to both high and low temperatures, so make sure it’s non-perishable and won’t melt. We suggest granola bars, energy bars or trail mix. 
  10. Blankets: Always keep a few quilts folded up in your trunk. A blanket with a waterproof backing is especially nice. You may want to put a few emergency thermal blankets in your glove compartment. Mylar blankets are inexpensive, lightweight, and don’t take up space—but they provide excellent warmth retention. 
  11. Old towels: These serve a variety of purposes. They can be used to wipe off a muddy windshield, bandage a wound, or to keep warm. 
  12. Tissues, paper towels and baby wipes: Useful for everyday mishaps as well as for emergencies. 
  13. A rain poncho or other rain gear: You are more susceptible to hypothermia if you are wet. 
  14. A first aid kit: Make sure it is stocked with pain relievers, bandages, sterile pads, alcohol prep pads, gauze, tape, and disinfectant or anti-bacterial wipes. Check expiration dates and replace items when needed. 
  15. A small fire extinguisher: There are extinguishes specially designed for use in cars. 
  16. Duct tape: For repairs, splints, and practically endless uses 
  17. Bungee cords: To secure trunks, but also to keep injured victims still. 
  18. A battery-operated or hand-cranked AM/FM radio: Some radios include flashlights and can be used as cell phone chargers in an emergency. 
  19. Bags: Old plastic grocery bags or a pack of small garbage bags. 
  20. Seat belt cutter and window breaking tool: Some examples are ResQMe or Life Hammer 

Have You Been Injured In A Kansas City Area Car Accident?

If you've been injured in a car accident you need to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free consultation.

James Roswold
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James Roswold is a Kansas & Missouri personal injury, workers comp, and medical malpractice attorney.