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Emergency preparedness kit: how to make sure you are prepared to be stuck in your car in winter weather

The dire situation on I-95 through Virginia has people questioning what they would do in a similar situation, and if they would truly be prepared.

PENNSYLVANIA, USA — Motorists were recently stranded for hours on I-95 in Virginia due to a snowstorm. 

It was a bad situation, and it emphasizes the need to keep certain emergency supplies in your car during winter months.  

A winter storm that ended up dumping over a foot of snow in Virginia brought traffic to a halt on Monday. Some were stuck for more than 19 hours and people ran low on food and water. Some vehicles ran out of gas.  

This situation can serve as a warning for drivers to be prepared with an emergency kit.

So, what should you have in your car emergency kit?

Fritzi Schreffler of PennDOT broke it down.

“A basic kit would carry jumper cables, it would have things like little foil blankets, ponchos, things like that," Scheffler explained.

"Another important thing is to have a flashlight.”  

Extra batteries and phone chargers are a must when putting together your emergency kit, Scheffler noted.  

Experts also recommend nonperishable food, like protein bars, energy bars, peanuts/peanut butter along with bottled water.  

If you're stuck in a similar situation, experts say drivers should turn off the car and start it up every hour for about ten minutes to warm the inside of your vehicle and make sure everyone is safe.

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