Winter Go-Bag Vehicle Checklist


Winter Go-Bag Vehicle Checklist


Don’t React to Crisis, Prepare for It

Stranded in a blizzard

What would you do if you were stuck in your car for hours, possibly days? In 2011, Chicago had more than 20 inches of snow fall leaving hundreds of motorists stranded in their vehicles overnight. Would you have the essentials? This isn’t about preparing for the end of the world. It’s more about having a plan for emergencies.

Types of common emergencies:

  • Stuck in traffic for hours due to road blocks, accidents, or other situations
  • Extreme weather, such as blizzards
  • Break downs
  • Getting lost
  • Getting into an accident, or witnessing one

If possible, keep your go-bag in the driver’s compartment of your vehicle so it is readily accessible. If you are unable to do so, it can be stored in an area of your trunk where it is accessible through the rear seat compartment. This eliminates the need to get out of the vehicle to obtain the bag.


Go-Bag Items


Go-Bag Items:

  • Stocking cap
  • Gloves / mittens
  • Exothermic chemical hand warmers
  • Socks
  • Blanket(s)
  • Water
  • Snack food (non-perishable)
  • Fluorescent distress flag
  • Chemical glow stick
  • Necessary medications
  • Mobile phone & vehicle-charger
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Battery powered radio with extra batteries
  • Pocket knife
  • Lighter (for melting snow)
  • Metal cup (to melt snow in)


Emergency Trunk Bag

Trunk Items:

  • Booster cables
  • First aid kit
  • Windshield scraper
  • Shovel
  • Melting salt / sand bag
  • Emergency flares
  • Tow chain or rope
  • Window washer solvent
  • Basic toolkit
  • Lock thaw


Keep your vehicle fueled above 1/2 tank

Note: Keep your vehicle fueled above a half tank. On average, a vehicle burns approximately 1/4 gallon of gas for every 15 minutes at idle. Idling the vehicle for 15 minutes each hour may produce enough heat to keep you warm until help can arrive. Ensure your tail pipe is not blocked by snow/ice. It could cause deadly carbon monoxide to back up into the vehicle.

To print our checklist in document form, click the button below:

Go-Bag Vehicle Checklist (Winter)