Your Winter Car Survival Kit

Your Winter Car Survival Kit

Winter is fast approaching! Let’s take a moment to run through the following information, compiled by Clark’s own Safety & Risk Consulting Team.

Avoid Frostbite & Hypothermia

If it’s cold and you’re going outside, make sure to wear all of the appropriate clothing:

  • Hat
  • Scarf or Mask
  • Water-Resistant Coat
  • Mittens/Gloves
  • Several layers of loose-fitting clothing
  • Water-Resistant Boots

Make sure these body parts (which are most often affected by frostbite) are covered by warm, dry clothing: nose, ears, toes, cheeks, chin, and fingers.

Know the symptoms! For Frostbite, you are looking for: redness, pain, white or greyish skin, and for Hypothermia: shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, slurred speech, drowsiness, memory loss. If you see the signs, seek medical attention immediately!

Prepare Your Vehicle

The combination of cold weather, salt, sand, and moisture are rough on your car, so it needs a little extra love to get through the season.

  • Get a tune-up
  • Check tire tread (if you’re not using snow tires, which you should!)
  • Replace wiper blades and top up fluids
  • Check for any open recalls at
  • Put snow tires on – once the temperature outside is consistently below 50⁰ F, it’s safe to put on snow tires. Remember, it’s better to have them on early!

Winter Survival Kit

Put a box in the back of your car and toss in these items. It takes a few minutes and $50, but it’s priceless if you ever need it. Make sure to download Clark’s Winter Safety Checklist below!

Winter-only items:
  • Car ice scraper/broom & Small Snow Shovel
  • Windshield Washer Fluid (with anti-freeze/de-icer)
  • A container of sand or kitty litter (for traction, in case your car becomes stuck in snow or slush)
  • Blankets (for protection from the cold)
Year-round items:
  • Jumper cables (good to have year-round, but necessary in the winter because cold weather can drain your car’s battery quickly)
  • Flashlight
  • Flares/Warning devices
  • Cell phone charger
  • Bottled water
  • Non-perishable food
  • Batteries (for the flashlight (and flares, if battery operated). Batteries should be stored separately from equipment and in sealed plastic bags in case they leak.)
  • Duct tape
  • Pen & paper
  • Plastic zip-top bags
  • Paper towels

Clearing Snow off Your Vehicle

When clearing snow off your vehicle, please sweep away snow from all of these areas on your car. Leaving snow on your car can cause car accidents on already dangerous roads!

  • Windshield (front & rear)
  • Headlights & Taillights
  • Roof
  • Any areas with collections of snow – it will shear off once you are at speed and can cause the vehicle behind you to swerve to avoid it. The snow can also damage the car or cause an accident that you’re held responsible for.

Any questions and to continue the conversation: Contact Tim McCarty, Clark’s Senior Vice President of Safety & Risk Consulting.

A photo of Clark Insurance staff member Tim McCarty

Tim McCarty
Director – Safety & Risk Consulting
Tim McCarty
Senior Vice President – Safety & Risk Consulting

(207) 523-2204

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