Minnesota winters can test the limits of both vehicles and their operators. Many people take getting from one place to another for granted, but it is wise to be prepared should things not go as planned. Here is a list of items that should be in your vehicle, or at least as many of them as you have available:

 

Spare / emergency tire along with a tire jack and lug nut wrench. Most vehicles are equipped this way, but it is a good idea to verify the condition and functionality of these items.

Tire inflator / sealant such as Fix-a-Flat, which can plug a leak temporarily and buy enough time to get you to a repair shop or other destination.

Jumper cables: You should familiarize yourself with your engine and with jump-starting procedures, as improper actions could result in more problems than a dead battery.

Tire pressure gauge: Keeping your tires properly inflated can improve handling, increase fuel economy and safety, and decrease tire wear.

Antifreeze: Top off your coolant should your engine overheat or your radiator springs a leak.

First Aid kit: One of those things that you hope to never need, but will be glad to have if you do!

Flashlight: See what you’re doing or signal for help.

Emergency food bars or military MRE’s (Meals Ready-to-Eat): You never know how long it may take for help to arrive, especially in remote or rural areas.

Crank-powered weather radio: Batteries in small electronics can die during extreme temperatures, whereas a hand powered unit will always work.

Ice scraper: Keep your windows clear for optimal visibility.

Mylar blanket: These compact, inexpensive emergency blankets can be a lifesaver.

Cardboard, carpet remnants or kitty litter: In the event of becoming stuck in snow, these can help gain enough traction to free your vehicle.

Gas container: If you run out of gas, you cannot get more without a gas can!

Emergency money: Always handy should you need a tow, fuel or other assistance.

Mobile device charger: There is nothing worse than not being able to call for help because your cell phone just died.

Basic tools: A multi-tool, pliers, screwdrivers etc should be kept in your vehicle. Even if you are not mechanically inclined, they could be useful for someone who might be able to render assistance or you might reattach some wires for your gadgets such as your car audio system.

Paper towels or a hand towel: Dealing with your engine, tires, or fuel can be a dirty job.

Pencil and paper: Because pencils always work!

Seat belt cutter / window breaker: Should you need to extricate yourself from your vehicle, this device is designed to do so properly.

Flares or reflective triangle: Avoid getting hit on the side of the road, especially in areas that are not well lit.

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