Vehicle Winter Preps

If you haven’t done so already, it is high time to get your vehicle prepped for winter. Oil change, tire rotation, and check all fluid levels. Make sure all your lights work properly so you not only can see at night but are visible to other drivers as well.

Naturally, you should already have your Get Home Bag in your vehicle. A couple blankets and a few chemical hand warmers are great additions. I keep an extra water bottle in my car, keeping it on the floor of the front seat so it melts while I’m driving around. Make sure you leave a couple inches of head space in your water bottles to allow for expansion when they freeze.

In your trunk, be sure you have a jug of antifreeze and a bag of kitty litter. The kitty litter works much better than sand in many cases. A small shovel will help you dig out snow from your tires if you go into a ditch or something. Extra hats and gloves are good ideas too, in case you lose track of your regular ones.

Jumper cables are a necessity in my part of the country. If you’ve never had to jump start a car, get someone to show you how it is done properly.

If you own a cell phone, be sure to buy a car charger for it and keep it in the glove box. This way, if you end up stranded you have the means to charge a low battery.

If you end up stranded in the winter, your first priority is to be safe. Thus, a means of signaling your location is critical. Road flares or strobe lights are very effective. This will help drivers to see you from a ways off. Unless the situation truly demands otherwise, stay with your vehicle. A car or truck is a lot bigger than you and is more easily spotted. If you need to leave the area on foot or by catching a ride with someone, leave a note in the vehicle with your name, the date and time you’re leaving, the direction you’re heading, and how you’re getting there. This will greatly aid searchers.

Stay safe out there this winter!

Published by

Jim Cobb

Jim Cobb has been a student of survivalism and emergency preparedness for almost thirty years. As a young child, he drove his parents nuts with stockpiling supplies in the basement every time he heard there was a tornado watch in his area. Of course, being a child, those supplies consisted of his teddy bear, a few blankets and pillows, and random canned goods he grabbed from the kitchen cabinets. Later, he was the first (and likely only) child in his fifth grade class to have bought his very own copy of Life After Doomsday by Bruce Clayton. Today, he is a freelance writer whose work has been published in national magazines such as Boy’s Life and Complete Survivalist Magazine. He is a voracious reader with a keen interest in all stories with post-apocalyptic settings. He maintains the Library at the End of the World blog and is also the Content Director for He currently resides in a fortified bunker in the upper Midwest, accompanied by his lovely wife and their three adolescent Weapons of Mass Destruction. Jim's first book, Prepper's Home Defense, was published late 2012 and his second book, tentatively titled The Prepper's Complete Guide to Disaster Readiness, will be out in mid-2013, both coming from Ulysses Press.

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