5. Flashlight and extra batteries: Daytime is shorter in the winter than in summer, so it’s best to have a source of light just in case.
6. Portable phone charger: You want your lifeline charged should trouble arise.
7. Jumper cables: A dead battery is a leading cause of roadside trouble.
8. Snacks: Nonperishable is best, but be careful with beverages (see below).
9. First aid kit: If you have one already, make sure it hasn’t expired.
10. Hazard triangles or LED flashers: A road safety vest also helps you put safety first.
Five things to avoid keeping in your car during winter
1. Electronics: Freezing temperatures can damage laptop computers, tablets and cell phones. Lithium-ion batteries that stop working in the cold will usually perk back up when they’ve been warmed, but repeated exposure to extreme temperatures can reduce their ability to hold a charge. And because moving a computer to a warm location can cause internal condensation that may damage it if you use it right away, let it warm up for a few minutes before turning it on.
2. Medications: Whether prescription or over the counter, some drugs can be affected by extreme cold. Freezing can reduce their potency, cause ingredients to physically separate or even change the molecular form of the medication. When in doubt, check the label for storage information and talk to your pharmacist about medications that may have been exposed to cold temperatures.