The snow is blowing and piling up as the temperature drops. You’re an hour from home and it’s getting late. A quick turn to avoid what looked like an animal in the middle of the road, and you lose control of the car. Mere seconds later and your car is on the side of the road. This is a reality if you live around the Salt Lake City area.

When a situation like this happens, whether it’s from snow, ice, rain or other weather or road conditions, you may be stuck without help. Once you check the status of your vehicle and determine whether you’ll need to call your car insurance agency, you’ll need to wait it out until help arrives. If it’s an area where you have no cell phone service, it can be hours before someone stops to assist you. In the meantime, you need an emergency kit to help you survive.

The Basics

No matter where you’re going or what the situation is, there are certain items you should always keep in your trunk or cargo area. Here is a list of items to always have on hand when you’re going anywhere, even just across town.

  • Spare tire and tools to change it
  • Jumper cables
  • Flares
  • Basic tool kit
  • Printed road maps
  • Blankets
  • Drinking water
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Duct tape
  • Car cellphone charger
  • Nonperishable food
  • If you have young children with you on most of your trips, you might want to make sure you carry small toys to keep them occupied in case you’re sitting in your vehicle waiting for help. Keep a list of contacts in your car. You never know when your cell phone might not work and someone may stop and offer to let you call for help on their phone.

    Make sure you find out if you have roadside assistance or other special coverage from your car insurance that might help you out in these situations. If you don’t, you might want to consider adding the coverage for these scenarios.

    Kids and Car Trouble

    It’s always stressful when you have car trouble or your car slides off the road in bad weather. If you have young kids with you, it can be even more worrisome. You must keep yourself calm and calm the fears of your kids.

    Make sure your children have enough clothes to keep them warm if you’re traveling in cold weather. Dress them in layers which will help hold their body temperature if you can’t run the car while you wait. Keep them distracted with games to pass the time. Even a few minutes can seem like forever to kids.

    For those parents with teens who are driving on their own, make sure they know about your emergency kit and know how to use everything. Talk to them about things that can happen in different kinds of weather and make sure they know how to handle these emergencies.

    You can’t always avoid car problems and being stranded, but you can be prepared. Know what to do and what to carry so you can stay safe until your back home. And always contact your car insurance agency if you notice any damage to your vehicle as soon as you get home.