Editorial: 10 things to carry in your car during winter
With 7 to 10 inches of snow falling on the Prescott area last week, the Courier editorial board would like to remind readers that safety is the most important thing when it comes to traveling in the winter, especially during our northern Arizona snowstorms.
In addition to a cellphone, which can be used to call 911 for help, here are 10 things to have in your car at all times during the winter months in Yavapai County and higher elevations in northern Arizona:
1.) Ice scraper
Most mornings in the Prescott area during the winter months will drop a good amount of frost on your car windows. Keep a good ice scraper and snow brush handy under the front seat or in the trunk for these occasions.
Tip: Start your car and turn on your heat and defogger on full blast, then as your engine warms, it will be easier to remove any ice that formed on the windows overnight.
Keep an old blanket or two in the car’s storage compartment. You never know when you might need it.
3.) Extra cold-weather clothes
An extra jacket, sweater, socks, beanie and gloves could be a life saver if you ever get stuck on the side of the road in northern Arizona and need to leave the vehicle.
4.) First Aid kit
A basic First Aid kit that contains bandages, adhesive tape, antibiotic ointment, scissors, gauze and any extra medications you might need can be bought at any local drug store.
5.) Jumper cables
In cold weather, car batteries can sometimes have issues. Keep a pair of jumper cables in the trunk in case a call for help can’t be responded to immediately.
A flashlight is good to have just in case you’re stuck on the side of the road and need to find things in a dark car, or if you get a flat tire. It’s also helpful if you need to walk for help.
7.) Hazard triangles or LED flashers
Like a flashlight, hazard triangles and LED flashers alert other drivers to your parked car in case of emergency and will help keep others safe.
8.) Water, non-perishable snacks
If you get stranded on the side of the road and have to wait for help, extra bottles of water and non-perishable snacks could come in handy. Especially if you have to wait for several hours due to a winter storm causing multiple issues in the area, and help can’t immediately get to you.
And with kids in the back seat? A few granola bars may ease crankiness.
9.) Cellphone charger
If the battery is still functioning in a disabled vehicle, you can plug in your cellphone to be sure it stays charged when you need to call for help.
10.) Rock salt, sand or kitty litter
These coarse materials can help your vehicle out of a tricky situation. Kitty litter, rock salt or sand can help your tires gain traction if your vehicle is stuck in snow.
Stay safe out there!