Winter Survival Kits

Preparing for winter weather long before it strikes is easy and will go a long way to helping you and your loved ones stay safe through this winter. Take time at the beginning of the winter season to assemble winter survival kits – one for home and one for each vehicle. Having these items on hand will help you avoid having to venture out into hazardous conditions and will help sustain you in the event of widespread power outages or fallen trees that may keep you at home and keep emergency crews from getting to you.

For Your Home

  • Several days’ worth of food that needs no cooking or refrigeration, such as bread, crackers, cereal, canned foods, and dried fruits; remember baby food and formula if you have young children
  • Other baby items as needed, such as extra diapers
  • Several days’ worth of water stored in clean containers, or purchased bottled water (5 gallons per person)
  • Several days’ worth of medicines that any family member may need
  • Blankets
  • Flashlights and/or battery-powered lanterns
  • Battery-powered radio and clock
  • Extra batteries
  • Non-electric can opener
  • Snow shovel
  • Rock salt, to help melt ice

For Your Vehicle

  • Blankets
  • Battery-powered NOAA weather radio for the latest storm updates
  • Basic first aid kit
  • Windshield scrapers and brush
  • Jumper cables
  • Mobile phone
  • Bag of sand or cat litter (to pour on ice or snow for added traction)
  • Tow rope
  • Small or collapsible shovel
  • Container of water and non-perishable, high-energy foods such as granola bars
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Tire repair kit and pump

If you will be traveling to a more snowy location, such as the mountains or in the northern U.S., you’ll want to add other items such as a tow rope and tire chains. But most of all, when driving during wintry weather, you should also bring along your best driving skills and your patience! And remember that if possible, the safest place to be during winter weather is at home. Do not venture out in your vehicle during a winter storm unless it’s absolutely necessary.

Get more winter weather safety tips at weather.gov.