Winter Driving Tips & Preparedness

Winter Driving

What Should I Have in My Car for Winter Driving?

While winter is a wonderful time of year, it can also mean sudden changes in weather, especially when travelling. Here are some things to consider bringing along to make sure you don’t get caught unprepared on the road.

Winter Driving Tips & Preparedness

  • Water – This should always be at the top of any emergency preparedness list. The CDC recommends 1 gallon of water per person per day for drinking AND sanitation.
  • Food – Non-perishables like canned food are great, but don’t forget a manual can opener! Other food options include dehydrated meals if you have a small, portable stove to heat water. If all else fails, items like granola bars and jerky don’t require refrigeration or tools for preparation.
  • Flashlight – A dependable flashlight or lamp with extra batteries.
  • Blanket – In the event that you cannot turn on your vehicle or need to conserve gas, be sure you bring enough layers to stay warm. Reflective emergency blankets are also handy. While you’re at it, throw up those reflective window liners to help insulate the windows in your car.
  • Tire Chains/ Cables – Don’t drive around snow without a pack of these in your car! Be sure to practice putting them on your tires before-hand.
  • Other – More items to consider are a portable charger with charging cable, first aid kit, wet wipes or baby wipes, and dog food if you have pets!

Don’t Forget

Ensure your tires are weather ready, your engine has had a recent check-up, make sure someone you trust knows where you’re travelling and, if possible, the route you’re taking in case they need to share information with local authorities. For up-to-date information on mountain pass road closures and more winter driving tips, visit this Caltrans page. (