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What to keep in your emergency car kit for dangerous winter weather

PITTSBURGH — As snow, ice and freezing rain move into the Pittsburgh area, AAA is reminding drivers to prepare by making an emergency car kit.

“People have this false sense of security, thinking, ‘I will never be stranded at the roadside for hours,’” said Jim Garrity with AAA East Central.

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It was only a month ago when traffic came to a halt along I-95 in Virginia, leaving some drivers stranded in freezing temperatures for up to 19 hours.

“It’s really not an alarmist thing to think to yourself, ‘What would we need to have in the car?’” said Garrity. “If we were stranded on the roadside for a couple hours, even upwards of 24 hours, what would we need to keep ourselves comfortable, warm and safe?”

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According to AAA, to equip your emergency road kit for winter weather, you should include:

  • Mobile phone pre-programmed with rescue apps and important phone numbers including family and emergency services, and car charger
  • Drinking water
  • First-aid kit
  • Non-perishable snacks for both human and pet passengers
  • Bag of abrasive material (sand, salt, cat litter) or traction mats
  • Snow shovel
  • Blankets
  • Extra warm clothing (gloves, hats, scarves)
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Window washer solvent
  • Ice scraper with brush
  • Cloth or roll of paper towels
  • Jumper cables
  • Warning devices (flares or triangles)
  • Basic toolkit (screwdrivers, pliers, adjustable wrench)

Garrity also tells Channel 11 it’s a good idea to make sure you also have a full tank of gas, extra gas, or both.

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