Due to harsh Pacific Northwest weather it is essential that you have vehicles prepared in the event of roadside assistance. You can buy emergency kits or purchase them pre-assembled. Keep in mind needs change depending on your driving conditions and the environment. Prior to departure, be sure to always check the road report and weather forecast so you know what to expect.
To help you get started there are a number of essentials to carry in your car that can help mitigate the dangers of winter travel in the Northwest.
1. Emergency blankets, in addition to winter clothing items such as boots, coats, hats and mittens.
2. Jumper cables, or a portable battery that comes with its own cables.
3. A waterproof flashlight, or another form of illumination with an external power source.
4. A first aid kit, including items that can be applied to pets you may be traveling with.
5. A tire jack, and other items (like sand or kitty litter) to help you extricate your car from slippery areas.
6. A glass hammer, or a similar small, portable tool for breaking glass in the event you end up in water. They are easily stored in the glove compartment.
7. Local road maps or atlases for the area you’ll be traveling. (Don’t completely rely on your phone! If your phone dies and cannot be charged, maps provide a backup plan.)
8. A spare tire. Prior to leaving, make sure to check the tire for pressure levels and for any holes that need to be patched.
9. Mobile phone and its charger. There are a wide variety of inexpensive, reliable car chargers available for all smartphones.
10. Tool kits -A multi tool, pocket knife and tire pressure gauge can all come in handy on the road.
Lastly, be sure to carry enough supplies for the number of passengers and/or pets. It’s always good to have too many resources and never need to use them!