When the weather is snowy, icy, and downright unpredictable, it’s crucial to keep a few essential emergency supplies in your car. Being prepared will make things easier if you get into a crash, break down, or get stuck in the snow.

Here are 6 items you should have in your car this winter in case of an emergency.

  1. Bag of Sand or Kitty Litter. Sounds odd but keeping a bag of sand or kitty litter in your car can add weight in the trunk to help rear-wheel vehicles gain traction on slippery roads and can actually be poured around your tires if they get stuck in snow, slush, or ice.
  2. First aid kit. Although it’s essential year-round, this is one of the most important things to keep in your car during winter because an emergency vehicle’s response time may be slow if it’s snowing.
  3. Blanket. You can’t always rely on your car’s heater so keeping a few blankets in your trunk if you get stranded or get into a crash will help keep you warm if you aren’t dressed for the elements.
  4. Jumper cables. Cold weather can affect your car’s battery and can turn a weak battery into a dead battery overnight. By having jumper cables in your trunk, it is easier to find a passing driver that could give your car a jump start.
  5. Flashlight. It gets dark early in the winter. If you stall or get stranded at night, use the flashlight to signal passing vehicles, look around in the trunk after dark, or if you need to walk to get assistance at night.
  6. Portable phone charger/battery. You will need your phone to call for assistance if you are stuck or involved in a car crash. Keep a car charger in your vehicle, but also have a portable charger/battery handy that will charge your phone regardless if your car starts or not.

Tips to Stay Safe Walking on Ice – Waddle Like a Penguin

During the winter months, it is important to remember key tips to stay safe walking in icy and snowy conditions.

We’ve put together a short checklist of some tips to keep you safe – many of these tips we’ve learned from penguins and the way they waddle across the ice.


  1. Take short, slow, shuffling steps.
  2. Point your feet out to the side.
  3. Spread your feet out so that it increases your center of gravity.
  4. Walk flat footed and wear shoes with tread.
  5. Look ahead and extend your arms out to maintain balance.
  6. Keep your hands out of your pockets.
  7. Walk in designated walkways.
  8. When on steps, always use the hand railings.
  9. Be careful when entering and exiting vehicles and hold on for support when stepping out of the vehicle.
  10. Take your time – allow any extra time that may be needed in icy conditions.

And if you do fall, remember to tuck and roll. If you find that you are slipping, tuck into a ball to make yourself as small as you can and protect your head and face from the fall. Don’t use your hands to catch yourself, try to land on the fleshy parts of your body.

Still have questions? Contact your R-Health doctor for more tips.