What to Keep in Your Car in Case You Get Stranded

Here's what you'll be grateful to have with you if you ever get stranded on the road for hours

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The dire situation on Interstate 95 in Stafford County, Virginia, probably has many people wondering what they would do if they were in a similar situation.

News4 Consumer Reporter Susan Hogan has the following tips on what to keep in a car survival kit so that you’re prepared if you ever get stuck.

Food and Water:

Hogan says you should keep food and water in your car in case of emergency throughout the year, not just for potential snowstorms.

You should keep plenty of non-perishable food in your car. Snacks such as granola bars and nuts can last for months.

Water bottles and a gallon of water are also necessary.

Think about whether you'd need any extra items to help with food in an emergency situation, such as a can opener, a cup or utensils.

If there's ever a chance you could get stuck with your pet in the car, it's a good idea to keep a little plastic water bowl so they can stay hydrated, as well as any extra food for them.

Emergency Tools:

A first aid kit, several emergency flashers, flashlights and batteries are a must, Hogan said.

Be sure to have a fully charged portable phone charger and a power cord on hand so you can make emergency calls in case your car runs out of gas.

A snow shovel and ice scraper are items you'll want if you get stuck in the snow. also has suggestions for what you should keep in an emergency kit, including a battery-powered or hand-crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert, as well as a whistle in case you need to signal for help.

Personal Care Items:

You should not store medication in your car because extreme temperatures could affect it. However, if you or anyone in your family takes prescription medication, you could keep some extra doses with you in your everyday bag, in child-safe containers. suggests wet wipes and garbage bags to help with personal sanitation.

Also consider what other personal care items you might need, such as tampons and pads.

Keeping Warm:

Of course, keeping blankets in your car are a must if you're trying to stay warm.

Hand warmers, extra hats, mittens and even an extra layer or two of clothing would also be good options to keep in your car.

If You Have an Electric Vehicle:

Hogan said the cold can greatly reduce the charge for electric vehicles, so make sure the car is always fully charged and know the charging stations on your route before you hit the road.

CORRECTION (Jan. 6, 2022, 12:15 p.m.): This story has been updated to reflect that medication should not be kept in cars.

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