Prepare Your Fleet Vehicle Winter Survival Kit with These Items

A flowchart depicting basic winter survival kit items

Safety is of the utmost concern to Custom Aire, both at every job site and on the journey to get there. A large portion of our workforce drives in our company vehicles in all kinds of weather conditions, and we want to highlight some important items that should be part of every fleet vehicle’s winter survival kit in case of an emergency.

Basic Winter Survival Kit Items

We all know winters are harsh in our region, and preparedness is key. Winter survival kits can be elaborate, but there are some basic supplies we suggest having in your vehicle in the frigid winter months:

Jumper cables

Winter is tough on vehicles, especially the batteries. Keep jumper cables in your kit in case your battery succumbs to the cold, or if you encounter a driver in need of a boost while on the road.

Ice scraper and brush

To drive safely, you need to be able to see the road. Fully scrape off your windshield and windows before you drive, to avoid accidents. Use a brush to remove all loose snow even if you’re only going a short distance.

Extra hat, gloves and socks

Even if you’re diligent about wearing a proper hat, gloves and other winter gear, its good to have an extra set in your survival kit since your extremities are most susceptible to frostbite if exposed to the cold for extended periods of time. If you need to work under your hood or dig your truck out of the snow, your first pair of gloves and socks will likely get wet as your body heat makes the snow melt. A dry set of gloves, hat and socks will keep you warm afterward if you need to wait for help.

Portable shovel

Speaking of digging in the snow, a portable shovel is a very efficient tool to have in your kit in case you get stuck in a snowbank and need to dig yourself(or another person) out of the snow.

Bag of sand or kitty litter

If your tires can’t get traction on an ice patch, sand or kitty litter works better than salt because it won’t melt. Pour it around your tires to get your truck back on track.

Cell phone car charger

A low phone battery AND car battery can spell disaster if you get stranded in the wintertime. Keep your phone charged at all times by plugging it into your car in case you need to call for help, even if your journey is short.

Flashlight with extra batteries

While flashlights can be used to venture out for help if you get stranded, you are strongly advised to stay in your vehicle. Instead, use the flashlight as a light source to conserve your car battery.

Flares or reflectors

Because it gets dark so early in winter, it can be hard for other drivers to see you if you get stuck. Turn on your hazard lights, but also keep flares or reflectors in your kit to signal cars passing by that you need assistance.

Candle-powered heater

Although it’s more appealing to keep your car running for heat when you’re stuck, snow and ice can block your exhaust pipe and lead to deadlylevels of carbon monoxide. To reduce your risk and conserve fuel, you can create a candle-powered heater using a metal can, a candle and a lighter.

First-aid kit

This is an item to have in your car year-round in case of mild injuries due to a car accident or another precarious situation.

Water and non-perishable snacks

Your body needs to be hydrated and energized to keep you warm, so add a few non-perishable snacks (granola bars, candy, etc.) and bottled water to the main part of your vehicle or your glove compartment so it doesn’t stay frozen. Replace these items every six months.

A winter survival kit is only one piece of overall preparedness when driving in the wintertime. Always check the weather forecast before you travel, and once you’re behind the wheel, exercise caution, drive slowly and give yourself extra time to get to your destination. Custom Aire provides more tips on safe winter driving here.