Making a Winter Driving Survival Kit

Use an empty three-pound coffee can or any similar container with a plastic cover to store the following items:

  • Small candles and matches
  • Small, sharp knife and plastic spoons
  • Red bandanna or cloth
  • Pencil and paper
  • Large plastic garbage bag
  • Safety pins
  • Whistle
  • Snacks
  • Cell phone adapter to plug in lighter
  • Plastic flashlight and spare batteries

Reverse batteries in the flashlight to avoid accidental switching and burnout. Warm batteries before using them. Store safety items in the passenger compartment when sever winter weather threatens in case the trunk is jammed or frozen shut. Choose small packages of food that you can eat hot or cold.

Suggested food items:

  • Raisins in small packets
  • Semi-sweet chocolate in pieces for sharing
  • Miniature candy bars
  • Chewing gum
  • Wrapped hard candies
  • Food bars
  • Canned soup, meat and poultry

Store bulky and heavy items in an accessible place:

  • 30-foot cord to use as homing line when you must exit the vehicle
  • Booster cables
  • Basic tools
  • Sand, cat litter or other grit in a plastic milk carton
  • Shovel
  • Tow cables or chain
  • Sleeping bag or blankets
  • Road flares and reflectors
  • Snowmobile suit and heavy boots

Emergency Phone Calls

If you become stranded in any part of Minnesota, and you have a cell phone, call 911 to summon help. In other states, you may be able to dial 911 or 0 to reach an operator. When you talk to authorities:

  • Provide information on you location, condition of all persons in the vehicle and the problem you are experiencing
  • Follow instructions; you may be told to stay where you are and wait for rescuers
  • Do not hang up until you know who you have spoken with and what will happen next
  • If you must leave your vehicle, write down your name, address, phone number and destination. Place the piece of paper inside the front windshield for someone to see

Minnesota Department of Public Safety Homeland Security and Emergency Management