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Discussion Starter #1
<p>I am going to put together a winter emergency kit for our car and am wondering what everyone has in theirs.</p>
 

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<p>I have 36 oz of water for every person in our family (5), a change of winter clothes for all the kids, a box of gallon ziplog bags and a pee cup, a hat for everyone, gloves for everyone, a hand-crank radio.  I have three high calorie snacks for everyone (energy bar type things).  We also have chemical handwarmers (those Hottie things), a car-plug-in recharger for the cell phone, new books that the kids have not seen.  This is in addition to the full first aid kit that I carry in the car year round.  I have two extra blankets.  And next week I will be adding chains.  Everything but the blankets, FAK, and chains fits into a large backpack that I keep in the trunk.</p>
 

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<p>In addition to what tigerchild listed we keep a carrier for ds (in case we need to walk), an old carmat (to kneel on if changing a tire), extra boots (I am often in shoes in the winter if I'm not expecting to be outside much), jumper cables, candles & matches.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter #4
<p>How do you keep the water from freezing? I am picturing us running out of gas (no heat) with just frozen water.</p>
 

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<p>Wow, Tigerchild. I wouldn't have thought of half of those things! I totally need to do this for when we take longer trips. Normally we aren't more than 10 to 15 minutes from home and in town. But, we drive 9 hours to see family a few times a year and an emergency kit would be excellent to have!</p>
 

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<p>The Boston highway shutdown got me thinking about this.  I take the highway briefly just to get to the grocery store.  In a freak storm anything could happen.</p>
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<p>I always pack a kit for long trips, but I think we should be prepared for every day emergencies as well.</p>
<p>I was thinking water, but it would freeze just in our garage.  Then the jugs would burst and leak all over the car when they thawed.</p>
 

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<p>A blanket that we'd almost never need... diapers and wipes... and I need to put a first-aid kit back there eventually, and a change of clothes per kiddo. </p>
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<p>It just doesn't get cold here ;) so not as much stuff needed.</p>
 

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<p><br><br>
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>pammysue</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1283312/what-s-in-your-car-for-a-winter-emergency#post_16090951"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>How do you keep the water from freezing? I am picturing us running out of gas (no heat) with just frozen water.</p>
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I live in the PacNW so I don't, currently. It's also better to sip water in an emergency situation, if you chug it you're going to end up with a full bladder and a lot of thirst (both from chugging and from stress), esp. since you have a limited supply--and really, while you might have a pee cup, you really do not want to have to pee into it unless you absolutely have to.  It is not fun (at least for me) to have to drop my drawers while seated in the car, constantly having to be on the alert if traffic moves.  (The most likely scenario that I have to deal with with my emergency kit is being stuck on the road because of snow panic traffic and a 4 lane highway reduced to a half lane because so many idiots have abandoned their cars int he middle of the freeway.)  I have done it, but...it ain't fun. </p>
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<p>You can always warm up the bottles by slapping a couple of chemical handwarmers on the outside.  You could also keep your water in the car vs. in the trunk.  Presumably you were driving in a heated car before you ran out of gas, so you already have heat in there and the bottles would have warmed up a bit, and you can keep it going with body heat.</p>
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<p>I guess if you run out of gas though, you don't have to worry about moving traffic, so you don't have to moderate your intake for peeing issues but...if you've run out of gas you also have no clue when you will be moving again, which means it's important to ration, and not go crazy with the eating and drinking because you are bored/stressed.</p>
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<p>Also, at least for me, I don't use bottled bottled water--I have it in our own containers, which I do not fill to the brim.  That way there is not the seal-breaking issue and soaking clothes.  Though to be honest with you, I used regular bottled water for my car kit as a single person in MN and never had a problem with leaks.  Deformed bottles, yes, but not leaks.  That being said though, you could just seal packs of bottles in a large ziplock.  It would protect the clothes, as well as capture the water (and the leaked water would defrost faster too) if you found that to be a big concern.</p>
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<p>Can you tell I help moderate a survival board?  :D</p>
 

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<p>I have a basic kit I keep in my car year round.  We have mild winters here in the PNW, but on colder days I just make sure I have warm enough coats + hats/gloves/mittens for everyone.  On warmer days I don't worry about it.  If potential snow is in the forecast and I'm going to be out, I make sure we all have boots and such as well, but I don't carry them all the time.  I also just try to bring water bottles with us whenever we go somewhere, so I don't have specific emergency water in my car (though I do in my house).</p>
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<p>In my basic kit I have a first aid kit, energy bars for adults and kids (Lara Bars for the grownups and Cliff Z bars for the kids), space blankets (one for each of us), glow sticks, flashlights, benadryl (the individual dose kids ones), ibuprofen, chains, diapers, wipes, disinfecting wipes, and a portable potty (which gets used more for potty emergencies on long trips when we can't take time to drive to a bathroom).</p>
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<p>Not in the emergency kit, but in genral in my car I have a change of at least pants and underwear for each of my kids.  Also a couple of extra blankets, a stroller, and a baby carrier.  I also keep things like a road map of my state in there, though once I get my phone w/ GPS that will probably be more obsolete than anything.</p>
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<p>I'm sure I'm forgetting something else I have out there.</p>
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<p>Now the emergency kit I keep in my house...that one is huge!</p>
 

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<p>Nothing? But I live in the Mid Atlantic and can't imagine being stuck somewhere for so long that I couldn't just get out of my car and walk to the nearest exit on the highway. What emergencies are you anticipating that you all need this stuff for? I do carry an emergency diaper bag in the trunk - it has diapers, wipes, a complete spare change of clothes for both my kids and a spare shirt for DH and I and 1 20 oz bottle of water (that has been in there for years year round with no freezing problems FYI) and a bag of random car stuff, jumper cables, paper towels and the like, but that is it.</p>
 

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<p>The reason I carry things is that I live 15 minutes (driving time) from the nearest city and over 10 minutes from the nearest store.  We also live up on a hill.  So there is a chance in inclement weather I could get stuck in the boon docks where the nearest thing to walk to is a goo 10 miles away.  Or, we may just need to walk home up the big hill.  Etc.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter #12
<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>snoopy5386</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1283312/what-s-in-your-car-for-a-winter-emergency#post_16093905"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>What emergencies are you anticipating that you all need this stuff for? </p>
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<p>The people who were stuck right outside of Buffalo, NY for hours and hours got me thinking about it. I am from that area and where they were stuck is a populated suburban area, not the middle of nowhere. With an infant and two year old I can't see myself walking through a snowstorm to get help, if it was even safe to be outside. I would hope that if the boys were with me, we would be high on the priority list for emergency crews, but who knows how long it would take them to get to me. I am not thinking these things would save our lives, but just keep everyone healthy and safe.<br>
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<p>I once got stuck for 5 hours in the car (15 minute drive normally) when it snowed.  While people do ditch their cars in the middle of the freeway here, no way in hell am I walking along the freeway with 3 kids in tow, in the snow, with drivers that don't know their elbows from their butts when it comes to snow which increases the potential for a pedestrian getting run over (which happens every year when people abandon their cars to walk along the freeway as well).  Even though I have AAA, ect.--it often takes time for them to get there.  Unless you are stranded near your house, are you really going to walk 15 miles or more with young children?  Some people might I suppose, I think that's an irresponsible plan.  It's safer to stay with your vehicle, esp. if it's just a matter of traffic--you'll get through eventually, and probably at a similar time rate than it would take you to hike out with all your kids, plus call someone to meet you (assuming they can, or that they won't get stuck in the side-street snarl).</p>
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<p>Though I have yet (thank goodness) to have to use anything in the emergency kit for a real emergency.  The stuff in there has come in handy for blowouts/unexpected vomiting, thirsty kids after an activity, warming up at the barn on a very frosty riding lesson day, ect. </p>
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<p>No one prepares "expecting" an emergency.  It's more a just in case sort of thing.  If you live in the mid-atlantic states, it's not a bad idea to consider having a go-kit ready (even if you don't keep in in your car) esp. during the hurricaine season, but essentially something you can grab and go if you need to evacuate.  Perhaps you will never need it, most people will not.  But the 1 time you do, it's good to have something that can help you out in an emergency.  It takes less than 15 minutes to put a car kit together, and takes up the space of a backpack in your trunk.  I don't get why everyone *doesn't* have a little something, to be honest.  :)</p>
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<p><a href="http://www.fema.gov" target="_blank">www.fema.gov</a> has some great ideas, mostly for home kits.  You don't need to have 3 days worth of stuff in your car, I plan for about 12 hours, even though I've never been stuck more than 4-5 hours in traffic.  Realistically though, I don't always do the wise thing and keep my gas tank from dipping below 1/2, if I were to run out of gas in traffic around here during a snowstorm, that could definitely turn into a 8-10 hour time away.</p>
 

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<p>I am still working on getting us one together. So far we have kitty litter to get traction in the snow, and an older blanket that I added for winter. We always have two large juice bottles that are filled with water, right now they are mostly frozen all of the time.</p>
 

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<p>Oh, I love the idea for having a carrier in the car. DD is 5 and we very rarely use our Ergo anymore, but she can still fit in it and the Ergo makes it 1000 times easier to carry her if we have to. (I just used it last week when we walked downtown for the Christmas Tree lighting, she walked part of the way but then wanted to be carried). Since we rarely use it, the car is a dandy place to store it. Just in case.</p>
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<p>It defnitely freezes here, so water is a concern. I realize some people just partly fill their water and let it freeze, but I don't like that because if our car breaks down and we're cold anyway, drinking a barely-defrosting block of ice isn't my idea of a good thing. I have resigned myself to bringing water in our Kleen Kanteens every. single. time.</p>
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<p>We also have a whistle in the car. Those are great for attracting attention without yelling yourself hoarse - you can make a lot of noise with only a little breath.</p>
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<p>In New England, being prepared on the road in the winter is serious business. Even if you're only going somewhere right in town, even if you're never more than, say, a half a mile from the nearest store (if it's open, even), a half a mile can become very serious if you're not propertly attired, if you're walking through the snow, if you are hungry - and multiply that by an X factor if you have children too. Cell phone? A great thing to have but I wouldn't rely on one of those 100%... you could dig it out of your purse and find the battery has drained, find you're in a dead spot for reception (maybe not in New York City but my house is a total dead spot, plenty of those out here), or the help you call is not nearby and needs time to get to you (my SIL was 2 hours away from MIL's house when she broke down; FIL went right out to get her but she still had to wait 2 hours in the cold), or there is so much going on that help is not imminent (major blizzard shutting everything down, 30 car accident on the freeway, etc).</p>
 

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<p>Oh, another SIL anecdote. She was house-sitting for MIL last week (so she was alone) and she went out to her car to grab something. Oops, her car was locked, she went back inside to grab the keys from the table. Um, oops, she forgot the door is openable from the inside even if locked. Now she's locked out of the house at midnight.</p>
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<p>MIL's car was in the driveway and unlocked. SIL had her cell phone and called FIL (again, lol) to rescue her (they were 2 hours away). Thankfully she had her cell in her pocket. But she found that MIL's preparations served her well, as there was a blanket and hat in the car. SIL didn't even have slippers on and it was freezing. LOL. The point is that preparations don't necessarily even work out the way you can imagine - I doubt MIL forsaw her daughter having to camp out in her car in the driveway for 2 hours on a cold night, but it happened and the blanket and hat helped.</p>
 

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<p><br>
 </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>pammysue</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1283312/what-s-in-your-car-for-a-winter-emergency#post_16090951"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>How do you keep the water from freezing? I am picturing us running out of gas (no heat) with just frozen water.</p>
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<br><br><p>The emergency kit should also contain a couple of candles or a candle lantern and matches. A burning candle will shed heat as well as light in a small space like a car. I would be careful about running a car motor if you are stuck in a snow bank. If the exhaust isn't allowed to vent, you may end up with carbon monoxide poisoning. </p>
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<p>We have: </p>
<p> - first aid kit </p>
<p>- emergency space blankets</p>
<p>- candles and matches</p>
<p>- tool kit</p>
<p>- water and nutrition bars</p>
<p>- a wind-up (no batteries needed) flashlight and radio</p>
<p>- a shovel</p>
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<p>City driving doesn't concern me, but our trip up to the cottage is 3 hours.  One quarter is on multi-lane highways, one quarter on secondary highways, and the other half is on back roads.</p>
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<p>Oh, and for heaven's sake, if you are in a region that receives snow throughout the winter,<strong> please get snow tires</strong>. "All season tires" really don't cut it. I am so sick of people who slide around the roads all winter long. </p>
 

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<div class="quote-container" data-huddler-embed="/community/forum/thread/1283312/what-s-in-your-car-for-a-winter-emergency#post_16093905" data-huddler-embed-placeholder="false"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>snoopy5386</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1283312/what-s-in-your-car-for-a-winter-emergency#post_16093905"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif"></a><br><br><p>Nothing? But I live in the Mid Atlantic and can't imagine being stuck somewhere for so long that I couldn't just get out of my car and walk to the nearest exit on the highway. What emergencies are you anticipating that you all need this stuff for?</p>
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A few years ago I was driving home in my brand new used car when it suddenly broke down on the side of the toll road. I was probably 10 miles from the nearest exit. It was I think, lightly flurrying, but there was hardly any snow. and since I'd just got the car, I had no emergency gear in it. My heat went out with the car. A state trooper stopped and called a tow truck for me, then left. A snow plow driver in the area checked in every so often and offered to let me warm up in his cab, but I foolishly toughed it out. It was COLD. I was shivering. And I wasn't even there that long, maybe an hour or two from when the car first stopped to when the tow truck got there. If I had been stuck for longer, I would have been in trouble.<br><br>
In snowstorms, it can take much longer for emergency help to find you and send help. And around here, people (mostly truckers) still exceed the speed limit in white out blizzards. And you cant walk on the shoulder because there's 3 feet of plowed snow built up there. And thats people stuck on the interstates and highways. Heaven forbid you break down in the country somewhere. You could be there quite awhile, possibly a day or more, depending on the weather and how empty the road is.<br>
 

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<p>colapsable shovel, felt blanket and solar blanket, mitts and hats for everyone.  We also have Bear pillows that are a blanket in a bear head shaped bag.  Water bottles, Granola bars/protein bars, Jumper cables, extra washer fluid, first aid kit, flashlight, multitool.</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Tigerchild</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1283312/what-s-in-your-car-for-a-winter-emergency#post_16096441"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br>
 I don't get why everyone *doesn't* have a little something, to be honest.  :)</div>
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<p>Because I never gave it much thought before!  One thing that I HAVE thought of, and it was the story of the family who got stranded in the snowy wilderness & the dad died walking to get help while the mom breastfed the toddler that made me think "what would I do"..  Hello, <em>please</em> pack a waterproof tinder kit <a href="http://www.campingsurvival.com/emtinkit.html" target="_blank">http://www.campingsurvival.com/emtinkit.html</a>  If I ever got seriously life-threateningly stranded, I would take a tire off of my car and light it on fire.  That is some serious smoke that searchers would see.</p>
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<p>I guess my weekend project will be making a winter car kit :)</p>
 
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