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With winter on its way, it’s important to properly prepare for the morning and evening commutes in the snow and ice. You wouldn’t want to get stuck somewhere and not have the supplies to help you get out or at the very least weather the storm comfortably. These are the 15 things you should keep in your car for winter.

  1. Ice scraper with brush
    1. You need at least one of these and for good reason. These tools are useful for getting ice and snow off the windshield and the top of your car. Always clear your hood, roof, and trunk of excess snow before departing. Neglecting this simple task results in visibility issues for you and those drivers following you.
  2. Gloves and winter clothing
    1. It’s always good to have more layers to prevent frostbite. Extra clothing is also useful to prevent hypothermia if you get your other clothing wet.
  3. Blanket
    1. A blanket can be a very handy tool for all sorts of weather. Besides keeping you warm if your car won’t start, it can be a makeshift seat cover during a rainstorm.
  4. Flashlight
    1. You probably have one on your phone but consider a sturdy and waterproof large light for emergencies. With it getting darker earlier, you’ll need one if you’re changing a tire on the road or flagging down help.
  5. Flares or reflector
    1. These will make you visible during storms or dense fog in case your car breaks down on the side of the road.
  6. Rock salt, sand, or litter
    1. Useful to add traction for your wheels in the snow or mud if you get stuck.
  7. First aid kit
    1. It’s good to keep one for basic first aid in case of a crash or injury, for yourself or others.
  8. Chain or rope
    1. Useful for helping move your car out of the way until a tow truck can show up.
  9. Basic tool kit
    1. A basic tool kit will come in handy in the event your car breaks down; you can do a lot of repairs with a simple kit.
  10. Water and snacks
    1. If you’re stuck waiting for a tow truck or someone to help, having non-perishable food and water will ease the waiting time. Make sure these items are in the passenger cabin where they can thaw out as you’re driving.
  11. Jumper cables
    1. Because a battery somewhere, sometime will die.
  12. Tire chains or cables
    1. Good to have them on hand and in a place that is easy to access, unlike the back of a garage where they’ll be useless if a sudden storm hits while you’re out.
  13. Isopropyl alcohol
    1. Extremely useful for getting rid of ice on your windshield and or doors and locks. Alcohol has a higher freezing temperature and speeds up the melting process of ice.
  14. Duct Tape
    1. A lot of problems can be solved with duct tape!
  15. Cell phone charger/battery
    1. Keep your cell phone charged so you can call for help even if your car is dead.