By Amber Bass
With the holidays fast approaching, many of us will be taking trips. With the recent blow freezing temperatures, think what would happen if we were in our car and had an accident or were broken down. Preparation is key when it comes to cold weather. Here is a list of 10 things to keep in your car during winter.

Blanket: If you are stuck with a car that won’t start, or that has conked out, and have to wait in cold weather for help, you will want a decent warm blanket as an extra layer.
Snow shovel: Get a short-handled shovel, probably a coal-type shovel, to stow in the trunk in case you need to remove snow from around the wheels of your vehicle.
Flashlight: Self explanatory. Keep a good-sized, water-proof flashlight with fresh batteries in case your breakdown is at night.
Hand warmers: Available at camping stores. Smash the bag and the chemical reaction inside creates warmth to defrost fingers that may be trying to change a tire or fiddle with an engine.
Matches: You never know when you will have to manufacture heat.
Bottle of water and a few protein snack bars. You hear of people surviving on ketchup packets that have fallen between the seats, but some planning will yield a better menu under emergency conditions.
Syphon Pump: If being out of gas is your problem, and you get offered help by a good Samaritan, you want to be able to get a gallon or two of gas out of another gas tank to get you going quickly.
Lightsticks: These cost almost nothing at a dollar store and can be used either as a light source or to wear in case you are shoveling snow around your wheels at night.
Flares: These should be in your trunk in all seasons for putting next to your car if you are pulled over in distress.
Whistle: It can be used to either signal for help to someone who can’t hear you yell, or to scare someone who may be trying to take advantage of your distress.

It pays to keep a kit in your trunk with all he things your are likely to need. This kit can also be a life saving kit for someone in need along your travels.