Brutal Illinois winters aren't anything to go into unprepared, especially if you are driving. Having a winter driving emergency kit in your vehicle might help you out more than you realize.
This kit will take up some space in your trunk, but you will likely be very happy to have it if you get stuck in a traffic jam that shuts down the interstate or have an accident when the roads are horrible. Here are some points to consider when getting a kit together:
Help getting your car unstuck
If your car is stuck in the snow, you will need to be able to get it out. You need a snow shovel, but you might wonder how you are going to get this into your trunk. Fortunately, there are some travel snow shovels that have a small footprint. You should find one that has a metal scoop and a metal handle. Some of these are plastic, but this might not be suitable for the heavy, wet snow.
A snow shovel is also imperative if you are stuck on the side of the road or in traffic. When you start your car to warm up, you must ensure the tailpipe is clear. A snow shovel makes this easy.
You also need to have kitty litter or sand in the trunk. You can sprinkle this in front of the tires to help give your vehicle traction when you are trying to drive out of the snow or ice.
Take care of your well-being
You will need a first aid kit that can address some injuries while you are stranded. If you have specific health concerns, make sure that you have supplies that can support you if you're stranded.
You need to have some warm weather gear. If you are stuck in your vehicle, you will only want to start the engine for short spurts of time. This means you'll have to deal with some colder temperatures. Cold weather gear, such as waterproof insulated gloves, hats and scarves can come in handy if you have to get out of the vehicle to shovel snow or to walk to a different location.
You also need to have bottled water and nonperishable snacks. These items can keep your body fueled until you can get out of the predicament.
Grabbing an ice scraper, extra cellphone charger and a fire extinguisher is also a good idea. All of these can help you out considerably if you are stuck.