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If you have a company vehicle or a vehicle you use for your business, it is a good idea to have a car emergency kit. Just like you should always have your driver’s license, registration, and insurance card when driving, you should also never leave work or home without emergency items or an emergency kit in your vehicle. A car emergency kit consists of certain items you should always have in case of a breakdown or accident.

With winter approaching, we compiled a list of the top 10 items you should have in your car emergency kit this winter. Wintertime brings bad road conditions and low visibility. The items featured in our article can greatly assist you if you were to have an emergency on the road.

10 Car Emergency Kit Must-Have Items for Winter

The following is a list of 10 important items you should have in your vehicle in the winter. This is not a comprehensive list; rather, a guide to keeping yourself as safe as possible when the weather is bad. For more information and suggestions about vehicle safety kits and other safety tips, please visit www.nsc.org.

 

Lifehammer Brand Safety Hammer

Lifehammer Brand Safety Hammer

This vehicle escape tool has a double-sided steel hammer head on one end that can break windshield glass in case of an emergency. On the other end is a sharp tool that can cut through a seat belt.

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Lifehammer Brand Safety Hammer

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Battery Tender 3 AMP Car Battery Charger

Battery Tender 3 AMP Car Battery Charger

Car batteries often die in cold weather. Having a battery charger like this one by Battery Tender can quickly and easily get you out of a jam if your battery dies. This model provides a full charge to your car, SUV, or truck battery, then switches to float mode to maintain the proper voltage.

Battery Tender 3 AMP Car Battery Charger

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Cartman 39 Piece Tool Set

CARTMAN 39 Piece Tool Set General Household Hand Kit

Keep essential tools like pliers, screwdrivers, and wrenches in your vehicle for quick and easy access whenever you need them.

CARTMAN 39 Piece Tool Set General Household Hand Kit

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First Alert EZ Fire Spray

First Alert EZ Fire Spray, Extinguishing Aerosol Spray

This portable fire extinguisher is actually an aerosol can that can put out fires just as well as traditional fire extinguishers and are safe for having in cars. You get a pack of 2 from First Alert – the formula is biodegradable, non-toxic, and wipes clean.

First Alert EZ Fire Spray, Extinguishing Aerosol Spray

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Waterproof Car First-Aid Kit

Small-Waterproof Car First-Aid Kit Emergency-Kit

It’s always a good idea to have a first-aid kit in your vehicle! This one has 273 pieces of essential first aid items, such as bandages, an emergency blanket, a tourniquet, sterile wipes, a flashlight, and more.

Small-Waterproof Car First-Aid Kit Emergency-Kit

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Energizer Heavy Duty Jumper Cables for Car Battery

Energizer Heavy Duty Jumper Cables for Car Battery

Even if you have a car battery jumper like the one above, it’s not a bad idea to have a regular set of jumper cables as well. Just make sure you get the correct gauge for your vehicle.

Energizer Heavy Duty Jumper Cables for Car Battery

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Twinkle Star Emergency Roadside Flares Kit

Twinkle Star Emergency Roadside Flares Kit

Whenever possible, you should use flares when you’re pulled over in your vehicle. These emergency flares are battery-operated, so they can be used over and over.

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Twinkle Star Emergency Roadside Flares Kit

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Jack Boss Scissor Tire Jack

Jack Boss Car Scissor Jack 1.5 Ton 3,300 lbs Capacity Steel Portable Tire Jack

A flat tire can happen to anyone at any time. In addition to always having a useable spare tire, you’ll need a jack to help you change a tire. While there are electric jacks on the market, we prefer manual ones, like the Jack Boss Scissor jack, in case of a situation where electricity isn’t available.

Jack Boss Scissor Tire Jack

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Rhino USA Recovery Tow Strap

Rhino USA Recovery Tow Strap

If your vehicle breaks down and you need to be towed, having your own tow strap is extremely convenient. Make sure the tow strap or chain you purchase is not only strong but can also withstand harsh weather, like our pick from Rhino USA.

Rhino USA Recovery Tow Strap

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GARAGE BOSS Press ‘N Pour Gas Can

GARAGE BOSS GB351 Briggs and Stratton Press 'N Pour Gas Can

Another item you should always have in your vehicle is a no-spill gas can. It is recommended that you carry at least a 3-gallon gas tank – this one actually holds 5 gallons. It is equipped with a simple press-button operation for flow control and no spills.

GARAGE BOSS GB351 Briggs and Stratton Press ‘N Pour Gas Can

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Birdrock Folding Emergency Snow Shovel

BIRDROCK HOME 34-inch Folding Emergency Snow Shovel

Last but definitely not least, an emergency snow shovel can be incredibly helpful in your vehicle. This one by Birdrock is 34.25 inches long when fully extended, and folds in half for easy storage.

BIRDROCK HOME 34-inch Folding Emergency Snow Shovel

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Item Purpose Notes
Basic Tools
Jumper cables Jump-starting a dead battery. Ensure they are of good quality and length.
Spare tire, jack, and lug wrench Changing flat tires. Regularly check the tire’s air pressure.
Multi-tool or basic tool kit Minor repairs or adjustments. Should include screwdrivers, pliers, adjustable wrench, etc.
Duct tape Quick fixes for hoses or other parts. Multifunctional, but temporary.
Safety Items
Reflective triangles or flares Warn other drivers of a stopped vehicle. Set up a safe distance behind the vehicle.
First aid kit Treat minor injuries. Include basics like bandages, antiseptics, pain relievers, etc.
Flashlight with extra batteries Night-time visibility and signaling. LED flashlights last longer.
Safety vest Ensure you’re visible to other drivers. Preferably with reflective strips.
Survival Supplies
Non-perishable food Sustenance if stranded. Energy bars, canned food, etc.
Bottled water Hydration. Rotate regularly to ensure freshness.
Blanket or emergency thermal blankets Warmth in cold situations. Compact emergency blankets reflect body heat.
Rain poncho Stay dry in wet conditions. Compact and lightweight.
Whistle Signal for help. Can be heard over long distances.
Other Essentials
Portable phone charger Ensure your phone is operable for emergencies. Solar-powered chargers can be useful.
Local maps Navigation when GPS or mobile data is unavailable. Physical maps don’t rely on electricity or signal.
Tow rope or strap If the car needs to be pulled from a ditch or snow. Ensure it can handle your car’s weight.
Fire extinguisher Put out small fires. Ensure it’s rated for automotive use (Class B & C).
Ice scraper and snow brush Clearing windshield and windows in cold climates. Essential for winter driving.
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Some companies provide a pre-assembled car emergency kit. These can be helpful, as many of them contain some or most of the items above. They also come with a bag or box for storage, which is also convenient. Here are 3 of the best ones we found:

Remember to always follow the rules of the road, drive with caution, and refrain from driving if conditions are too harsh. But when you must drive in bad weather, or when winter weather happens unexpectedly, having a car emergency kit for the winter can really help you out if an accident happens.

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