More winter weather in forecast serves as reminder for emergency car kits

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Posted at 9:20 PM, Jan 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-05 06:22:27-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — More winter weather is heading to Middle Tennessee this week and drivers need to be prepared if they're hitting the road.

This week drivers were stranded for more than 24 hours on Interstate 95 in Virginia because of a snowstorm.

The weather caused stalled cars to spin out and even some crashes, which left people sheltered inside the vehicles in freezing temperatures.

AAA wants to ensure drivers have an emergency kit in their cars.

"It's very important to go ahead and have that kit ready in your vehicle already double-checked, just in case you do find yourself in an unfortunate situation," said Stephanie Milani, spokeswoman, AAA - The Auto Club Group.

Milani says drivers should always ensure their vehicles are well maintained and properly equipped for winter driving.

An emergency winter kit should include a snow shovel, ice scraper, jumper cables, flares, a flashlight, some warm clothing, blankets and a fully charged cell phone or charger.

  • Cell phone and car charger (glove compartment)
  • First-aid kit (glove compartment)
  • Blanket (luggage area)
  • Drinking water/snacks for everyone in the car including pets (some in glove compartment, the rest in the luggage area)
  • Flashlight with extra fresh batteries
  • Rags, paper towels or pre-moistened wipes
  • Basic set of tools along with duct tape and car emergency warning devices such as road flares or reflectors (luggage area)
  • Ice scraper/snow brush
  • Jumper cables/jump pack
  • Traction aid such as sand, salt or non-clumping cat litter
  • Tarp, raincoat and gloves
  • Shovel

"Now some things that you want to make sure that you have jumper cables that will sometimes help if it is the battery you can get someone to jump your vehicle off instead of waiting on a service like AAA, and you can drive directly to the store and get a new battery or you can call AAA for a new battery," Milani said.

Drivers like Tacy Judd said she's always prepared.

"I have emergency blankets. I have an extra jacket. I have flashlights, bottled water, pretty much anything you could need, tissues, you name it," she said.

Judd said since she was a child she knew to always prepare for an emergency.

"I grew up in Northern Virginia, I live in West Virginia now and just never know what's going to happen. And I don't drive really in bad weather. So, I have friends that will pick me up and they always have everything they need," she said.

AAA says drivers should also check their vehicle’s systems car battery, tires and windshield.

"For instance, those people who've been stranded in Virginia so you're thinking about things like extra medication, some snacks, some bottled water, anything that might help you pass the time. Make sure that you're safe while you're waiting on help to arrive," Milani said.

Another tip is to never let your fuel get below half a tank which will help because of condensation, but it will also help you stay warm if you need to run your car for long periods of time.