Make sure you have these items in your winter car kit

CHESAPEAKE, Va. - As the temperature continues to drop, it is never too early to make sure you are prepared for the winter weather. And that includes making sure you have everything you need for your car.

A winter car kit will help protect you and your family when out and about this holiday season, or in after the new year, during the dead of winter.

It's not a bad time to have your car looked over by a mechanic to make sure you are ready to go for winter. Have them make sure your tires are properly inflated and that your battery is in good condition.

Chesapeake Fire Department CPT Steve Bradley says if you find yourself stranded in the road during a winter storm use your car kit and stay with your car.

“People may not necessarily know where they are at - so if they go searching for help and they are in freezing temperatures - it could only be a matter of minutes before you find yourself in a very serious situation,” Bradley said.

Emergency management, senior planner Bobby Gelormine says to start with a food, water and a good ice scraper when preparing your winter car kit. Remember to clean off your car's windows, roof and hood before driving.

"A large blanket, a set of jumper cables, ice melt or kitty litter is a big thing to have that will help provide some traction. Especially if you have a vehicle that is rear wheel drive,” Gelormine said.

Gelormine says remember to check the weather before leaving your home and always let someone know what your travel plans are.

These items should always be in your vehicle:

Vehicle manual

  • First aid kit
  • Jumper cables
  • Tow rope
  • Auto/travel tool kit
  • Spare tire
  • Tire repair kit
  • Flares/reflective flags
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Compass and road maps
  • Cellphone car charger

Add these items when traveling in severe winter weather

  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Bag of cat litter for tire traction
  • Rock salt to melt ice/snow
  • Windshield ice scraper with brush
  • Small shovel
  • Waterproof matches and candles

And don’t forget these items needed for survival:

  • Necessary medications
  • Blankets/sleeping bags
  • Extra set of clothes, gloves and hat
  • Nonperishable and dried foods, energy bars
  • Manual can opener
  • Bottled water