Driving in a Snowstorm

Duct Tape EDC - SOS

There are a several simple things Preppers may want in their car when driving in snowy weather conditions.  Below is a list of seven items, can you guess what they are?  If you’ve lived in a snowy climate for years then you can probably guess most of them.  However, the weather has been taking some extreme turns lately which is a wake up call for many of us to double-check our preps and to make sure we are prepared.

One stormy winter day while driving down the highway, I saw 4 cars that had slid off the road.  The tow trucks and highway patrol couldn’t keep up with all the accidents.  The police put out a statement to “stay off the roads if possible“.  I was excitedly on my way to visit my newest nephew and sister in the hospital.  I was also assigned to take my mother to the airport for her return flight home, after the visit.  They were an hour away but after 20 intense minutes of driving (in the middle of a snow storm with low visibility) my worried mother told me to turn around and go home.  Since my car was having a hard time on the roads (randomly drifting to the right and left) I followed my mother and the highway patrol’s plea and started to look for the next exit that would take me home.

As I took the next exit there was a semi and a compact sedan with their hazards on.  Cars in front of me (better equipped for driving in the snow) started to go around them.  As I waited my turn I noticed that the small car and semi were trying to make it up the hill to get on the overpass but couldn’t make it up the hill.  It’s a little frightening to see a semi sliding backwards with you behind it.  Luckily, there was plenty of space between me and the two struggling motorists.  I noticed on the way home a car using the off-ramp to stop and put snow chains on.

Driving in a Snowstorm - Truck Stuck in the Snow

This was not the first snow storm I had driven into but it was brutal enough that I checked my car emergency kit when I got home.  My poor mother got a ride from my brother-in-law to the airport and was a little worried when she couldn’t see where the road began or ended.  She worriedly wondered if he had an emergency kit in his car and later asked me if I had one.  She wondered what I kept in it to prepare for driving in a snowstorm.

Driving in a Snowstorm – Additions to an Emergency Car Kit

1. Mylar

An orange mylar emergency blanket is not only helpful in trapping body heat in an emergency it also can be used to signal for help.  In snowstorms, its hard to spot other vehicles especially if it is white.  To make your car more visible close it on the outside of the door.
Driving in a snowstorm


2. Duct Tape

There are so many potential uses.  It can be used to signal for help by spelling SOS on the mylar blanket.  If your vehicle is damaged, it can be used to seal drafty areas while you wait for help to arrive.

Driving in a snowstorm

3. Shovel

If you slide off the road driving in a snowstorm, shovels allow you to dig a path from your car back to the road. Rubber snow tracks can also help get you back on the road. If your car is stuck, shovel the snow out from around your doors and exhaust pipe.  After a few hours in a snowstorm the snow can get so high that it blocks the doors trapping you inside. You also will need to keep the exhaust pipe clear to keep carbon monoxide from building-up in and around your car.

4. Glass Breaker

Automatic windows can freeze-up and not work.  I have even had my car doors freeze shut!  Luckily, I was at home so I just waited until it defrosted but since then I have added a glass breaker to my glove-box just in case.

5. Snow Chains

If you wait to buy them until you need them then you’ll either pay three times more, be stuck waiting for a tow truck, or just plain stranded .  My husband and I travel around the holidays visiting family.  Some roads we travel have check points or road warnings where snow chains are required.
Driving in a snowstorm 5

6. Battery Bank

A portable way to charge cell phones.

Driving in a snowstorm 6

 7. Candle Lantern

I keep a flashlight in my vehicle but it doesn’t work sometimes in extreme cold. This candle lantern adds light and warmth. It lasts for 9 hours and puts off 1900 BTUs (3 times more heat than a tealight candle). I like that the candle is enclosed in the lantern and hangs up. It’s less likely that I’ll knock it over or catch something on fire. Don’t forget to add a lighter or matches with the lantern.  A matchbook fits easily it the box it comes with. Wool blankets are another great prep for keeping warm.

UCO Candle Lantern - Items You May Want Driving in a Snowstorm

About PreppersSurvive 130 Articles
Welcome to my site! My name is Nettie and I started this blog to provide simple tools to help Preppers.  I am a Girl Scout Prepper. “Be prepared! A Girl Scout is ready to help out wherever she is needed. Willingness to serve is not enough; you must know how to do the job well, even in an emergency" (the motto, in the 1947 Girl Scout Handbook). Being a Prepper has been a blessing to me, my family, and friends on more then one occasion. You'll find these stories throughout this blog.  You will also find prepper supplies checklists, prepper events, cheap food storage ideas, emergency heat sources, survival books recommendations, reviews on power outage lights, printable prepper pdfs, and articles on emergency disaster preparedness.  Click here to read more

3 Comments on Driving in a Snowstorm

  1. Ok….Being from the north, snow belt, east side of the great lakes I thought I would have picked the same “winter driving” items. Well it turns out you picked mostly different things than I would. I would have never thought of a blaze orange anything to make the car more visible. I will have to add that to my winter driving kit. Common wisdom where I grew up is to have the following items in the car for winter driving always because you never know when a storm will blow up. Also blizzard driving conditions can be very localized, you never really know what you might end up driving through.

    My winter driving necessity list:

    Proper winter clothing for each member of the family. This includes but is not limited to scarves, gloves or mittens and if not already wearing a warm winter coat and boots.

    Snow brush and scrapper

    Warm blankets preferably wool

    Jumper cables (though this should already be in your car 365) cold weather is hard on batteries.

    Cat litter/sand/ cardboard This is for traction if you get stuck.

    A shovel for digging yourself out

    A candle in a metal can plus some way to light it. I like your lantern, it’s great but not everyone has a lantern or funds to spend on such a specific use item. A candle in a can will keep a car warm enough so you won’t freeze to death, just don’t forget to crack a window.

    Another thing I like to carry in the winter extra wind shield wiper fluid. Driving in slushy conditions tends to throw a lot of road dirt along with water and snow up from the tires. If you have to follow another car for any length of time you can go through fluid fast.

    The last item pertains only to parents of small children. A lightweight sled with a long and sturdy enough rope to comfortably pull. If you do have to walk out you will need a way to bring your kids with you. Little legs and deep snow is slow going.

    Like I said, these items are common wisdom from the snow belt. I have honestly had my mother literally chase me to my car with a candle in a can because she thought I needed to have it in the car. Hopefully you will also consider these items as well.

  2. Woah, scary stuff. My car kit right now has all the basics–paracord, flares, some energy bars, a few gallons of water, etc.–but, living in a hot weather climate, I don’t generally have to deal with snow. My extreme weather kit is more along the lines of sunscreen, umbrella/hat for shade, and bug repellent. Lots of mosquitoes down here in the South!

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