zoph/Bigstock.com Emergency Car KitWinters in and around Kansas City can be unpredictable. Temperatures drop to below zero, freezing drizzle falls from the sky and ice coats the roads, the wind blows snow into blizzard-like conditions, and all of it comes at the most unlikely times. One day it will be sunny and unseasonably warm, the next day it’s snowy and frigid. Winter weather doesn’t always wait for winter to kick in, either. Here it is November, and we’ve already seen snowfall a couple of times in the Belton, MO area.

Even when snow is light, it can spell trouble for drivers all over the region, so we recommend that all drivers (especially our friends here at the Lazy Acres senior living community in Belton) put together a winter weather emergency kit to keep in their cars in case of poor road conditions, inclement weather, or the unfortunate event of a breakdown. There are plenty of articles around the web telling you what should go into a kit like this, but here are a few of the basics that can help keep you safe and warm in the winter and maybe even get you out of a jam.

  • Windshield Scraper and Brush
  • A Spare Pair of Warm Gloves and Other Clothing Items
  • Blankets
  • Jumper Cables
  • Snow chains or tire chains
  • Candles and a Coffee Can to Act as a Makeshift Heater
  • Small or Foldable Snow Shovel
  • A Flashlight and Spare Batteries
  • Bottled Water and Snacks (Be careful that the water doesn’t freeze if left in your car!)
  • A First-Aid Kit
  • Road Flares or Reflective Warning Triangles
  • Duct Tape
  • A Lighter or a Box of Matches
  • A Bag of Sand or Kitty Litter for Traction
  • Hand Warmers
  • A Basic Tool Kit
  • A Knife or Multi-Tool
  • Canned Fix-A-Flat
  • A Notepad with a Pen or Pencil
  • Something to Read While You Wait for the Tow Truck
  • A Charger and, of course, Your Cell Phone!

Most of these items can be packed into a plastic bin and kept in your trunk, but there are a few (such as your cell phone) that you’ll want to keep within easy reach. Whatever you decide to put into your winter emergency kit, make sure that you keep it restocked as necessary and check it every season before severe weather sets in.

It’s also a good idea to keep up on all your vehicle’s service and regular maintenance throughout the year, especially in the winter months. Maintaining proper tire pressure is important in cold weather, and you should always keep at least half a tank of gas in your vehicle during the winter. You never know when you’re going to find yourself stuck in traffic or—perish the thought—sitting on the side of the road for hours on end, and you’ll need gas in the tank to keep the car running, use the heater, operate the windshield wipers, and so on.

With any luck, you’ll never need your winter weather emergency kit, but with the kind of winters that we have here in the Kansas City area, it’s better to be safe than sorry. The long, cold winters are a lot warmer when you live somewhere welcoming like the Lazy Acres senior living community in Belton, MO. To learn more about our community today, give us a call during regular business hours at (816) 331-4886 or fill out our online contact form anytime!