Blanket, go-bag, and heat and water supplies in the back of a car

by Robin Kemp

This weekend promises to be a bad one for driving. Icy roads and subfreezing temperatures, especially north of I-20, mean dangerous driving. What would you do if you were in a wreck or if your vehicle died in freezing  conditions?

At minimum, you need a warm blanket for each person in the car, high-energy snacks, and drinking water. Consider a backup phone battery bank that you can charge at home or in your car (beforehand) in case you get stranded. Kitty litter can help get you unstuck.

Georgia Department of Transportation’s Natalie Dale explains how to prepare your car, truck, or SUV for the worst-case winter driving scenario:


Other things you might want to pack in the back. If you buy these through Amazon Smile, The Clayton Crescent will get a tiny portion of the sale.

  • Waterproof matches in a waterproof container. (A cigarette lighter is good, too, but don’t store it for extended periods in a hot car.)
  • Chemical hand and/or foot warming packets. By keeping your extremities warm, your blood will circulate the heat back to your body core.
  • Stocking cap or beanie that covers your ears and gloves. Insulated ones are best. You lose most of your body heat through your head. If you’re stuck for hours, you’ll want a warm hat.
  • Water purifying straw. For the absolute worst-case scenario when you might need to drink from a stream to survive. You can get these at an outdoor equipment or army surplus store.
  • Keep your emergency items in a weather-resistant box like a storage bin or an ammo can with a seal.

For many more helpful winter weather tips, visit GDOT’s Winter Weather page at


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