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Winter Driving Emergency Kit

Don't get caught unprepared

2018 Fall
by Eric Frank
Search and Rescue Deputy - Gallatin County Sheriff's Office

As winter approaches, drivers should equip their vehicle with an emergency kit in the event they get stuck on one of Montana’s many remote roadways. Whether it’s a vehicle accident, a break-down or the storm of the century, travelers may find themselves stranded for a period of time. While this can be scary, it will be more comfortable with the right equipment on hand.

Load a backpack with an extra set of warm clothes, winter boots, a blanket or sleeping bag, high-calorie snacks, a few bottles of water (¾ full so they don’t burst if frozen), and hand warmers (for warmth and/or to thaw frozen water). Throw in a deck of cards, a book, or a sketch pad and pencils (if it’s too cold a pen may freeze) to help pass the time. It’s also good to have a basic first aid kit, flashlight, and a weather radio. Stow extra batteries for the light and radio and if possible, an extra power source for a cell phone. If a person requires regular medications, they should always carry an extra supply. Keep a snow shovel, tow strap, tire chains and a few road flares in the trunk. Always start a trip with a full gas tank and if stranded, run the engine sparingly to conserve fuel. Following these simple tips can help improve a negative situation and help keep drivers and passengers safe and comfortable in an emergency.