As we prepare for yet another Nor'easter storm in New England, residents have been cautioned to stay indoors and off the roads. While travel is not recommended during inclement weather such as this, there are many who don't have a choice but to travel in the storm. Whether you still have to go to work, or you need to make a quick trip to the store, you should always keep some emergency supplies in your vehicle.
Since we like to take the prepper mindset to everything we possibly can, I wanted to discuss some of the items that you can keep in your vehicle should you need to venture out into stormy weather. Winter storms like the one this coming weekend can also knock out power lines, and for those who don't have their own generators, some of the items below will still be relevant to keep handy at home, in the event of a power outage.
If you're going to be on the road you should definitely bring extra layers. If for any reason you find yourself stuck, you can conserve gas by keeping yourself warm with the extra layers. This will be much easier in the case of a power outage at home, as you can just go to your closet and layer up. Keep in mind that if you get stuck in your vehicle, you'll only have what's in there with you. If keeping extra jackets or blankets is not possible, items like our survival blankets provide great insulation and heat reflection, with a minimal footprint. There have been cases of individuals being trapped in their cars during heavy snowstorms for days - and if you're in a more remote area that isn't regularly serviced during a storm, consider that you could be stuck for several days.
Food and water are a must if you plan on going out in a storm. If you find yourself stuck, getting to a store is not going to be possible. I would recommend bringing at least 2 days of food and water in your vehicle. Since you probably won't be cooking in your sedan, the food should be pre-prepared or non-perishable. A few sandwiches, nutrition bars, and insulated water bottles should be enough to hold you over. Insulated water is going to be important, as you may not have an option to heat it up, should it freeze. While your vehicle may be able to provide heat, it may not always be reliable if you're low on gas.
Power and Lighting
Make sure you have another light source you can rely on. If your vehicle runs out of fuel, you'll need additional light sources to help flag down rescue crews, and just to provide vision for yourself at night. A rechargeable light is preferred, because if you're like me, a flashlight lives in my car at all times. I choose to use rechargeable because the batteries have a significantly longer life span. There's nothing worse than finding out the AA batteries have decayed when I need my flashlight. From there I would also suggest a portable power supply or power bank, such as our solar powerbank. This will help keep your devices powered, again in the case of not being able to use your vehicles power supply. Even if you do have fuel, switching to other light and power sources will help conserve your use of fuel, stretching your use of the heat and electricity your car can provide for you.
While this is not a necessity, it will absolutely help with your sanity if you're stuck in your car. Being trapped in a small box while you wait out the storm can be maddening, especially knowing you are powerless to change the situation. A deck of cards for multiple people, or a book for an individual are good things to keep handy. While this won't directly help with your survival, it can help keep you calm and your mind at ease - which is worth more than most survival tools on their own. You'll have nothing but time on your hands in these types of situations, and it's best to keep yourself occupied, rather than in your own head the entire time.
Again, travelling during storms like these is not recommended. But if it can't be avoided, it doesn't hurt to be properly prepared. One of the biggest mistakes that people will make if they find themselves trapped in their car is to leave their vehicle on foot, hoping to trek it to the nearest public road or buildings. It will almost always be safer to stay with your vehicle, and allow rescue crews to get to you. So long as your vehicle is properly stocked, you'll be able to ride out the storm and get home safely.