Mosaic Insurance in Lynnwood has a starter pack checklist to help you over the next few winter months
By: Meagan Baron
Winter weather calls for having certain items on hand when you are at home and on the go. What items should you keep in your car and always have ready to use at home?
Lists vary depending on needs and lifestyle, but as a rule, the below items are good for you to have in-stock during the colder and darker times of the year.
What is Good to Keep in Your Car During the Wintertime?
- Window scraper
- Wipe down your windows
- Cover your windshield at night to help avoid ice build-up
- Windshield wiper fluid
- Fill your windshield wiper reservoir
- Have a backup jug in your trunk
- Have some in a spray bottle to spray your side mirrors and other windows
- Tire patch repair kit
- AutoGuide.com has some great tire repair kit examples so you can get an idea of what is good to have. They go over some of the pros and cons of different top car tire repair kits and where you can purchase them.
- Tire inflation pump
- Tire air pressure gauge
- Tire chains
- Car jack
- Tire iron
- Full-spare tire
- Sandbags in your trunk for weight traction
- Flashlight with backup batteries
- Cellphone charger
- Pre-charged battery ban
- Vehicle manual
- Jumper cables
- Bottled water
- Nonperishable foods
- First-aid kit
- Tow chain/rope
- Seatbelt cutter/glass breaker tool
- Gas can
- Oil, transmission fluid, anti-freeze, and power-steering fluid
- Tissues, napkins, and baby wipes
- Roadside flares
Reminder: Conceal items the best you can in your car—your trunk, glovebox, center console, under your seats, etc. You don’t want anything that will attract thieves out in the open—i.e., electronics, boxes, and bags.
What Else Should You Do to Help Keep Your Car Safe in the Winter?
- Review your car insurance and make sure that you have what you need to be protected. For some examples on auto coverage to review, click here.
- Practice good car maintenance by regularly checking and maintaining important items like:
- Battery terminals
- Fluid levels—oil, transmission fluid, anti-freeze, windshield wiper fluid, and power-steering fluid
- Windshield wipers
- Emergency brake
- Spark plugs
- Tire pressure, tread, and bolts
- Heater and defrost
- Turn signals
- Brake lights
- Dashboard lights
- Review snow, ice, and rain driving tips. For instance…
- Basic snow driving tips
- What to do if your car starts skidding
- Driving up/down hills in the ice
- Why you should avoid driving through puddles
- What if you have no choice and you must drive in a puddle? Here are some safety tips.
- How to salt/sand your driveway
- What to do and not to do when driving in the rain
- How to get snowplow schedules for your area
- If you are looking for a place to get snowplow schedules for the stores you frequent, the main streets on your daily commutes, your own neighborhood, etc., there are maps that can help! For the county/city that you live in, Google “storm response map” (example: “Snohomish County storm response map”). Navigate to a government resource (usually “.gov” or “.org”) for a color-coded map that you can navigate. Most counties have a map, and some cities, like Seattle, also have their own more-specific map. As we get deeper into winter, schedules should get more specific on timing, so it’s a good idea to check in periodically with the maps and other city/county announcements.
- Snohomish County snowplow maps
- King County snowplow maps
- Mosaic’s snow safety starter pack tips:
- Drive in pathways already made
- How to engage 4-wheel drive
- How to open frozen car doors
- How to brake safely
- Ways to prevent window ice
What Winter Items Are Good to Have Stocked Up at Home?
Lots of things can prevent you from getting to the store for important items—you get snowed in, your car is broken down, the roads are too icy to drive on, etc. Also, the stores could be out of a lot of items, especially with COVID going on. Not to mention, it is common for power outages to happen in the winter, and there are things that you will want to have if that happens. Here are some items to always try to keep well-stocked at home, especially during the colder months.
- Candles, matches, and lighters
- Bottled water
- Water filter pitcher
- Coffee and tea
- Baby formula
- Pet food
- Cat litter and pee pads
- Nonperishable foods
- Emergency food kits
- Granola bars
- Cup of Noodle/Top Ramen
- Instant macaroni bowls
- Chips and pretzels
- Canned veggies
- Canned tuna/chicken
- Shelf-stable milk
- Protein shakes
- Dried fruit and veggies
- Fruit snacks
- Individual condiment packets—ketchup, mayo, mustard, etc.
- First aid kit
- Prescription drugs
- Toilet paper
- Diapers and baby wipes
- Feminine hygiene products
- Dishwasher and laundry soap
- Chopped and dry wood for fires
- Fire starters
- Portable electric/gas heaters
- Propane tanks
- Instant heat packs
- Tea kettle
- Flashlights and batteries
- Fire alarm batteries
- Pre-charged portable battery banks to charge cellphones when the power is out. (There are some battery banks that have solar panels so you can recharge them during the day.)
- Snow tools
- Snow shovel
Also, if your power ever goes out, a great thing to do is hop on your phone and report the outage on an outage map to help repair teams get to your location faster and restore your power. All you have to do is search your city and state with phrases like “outage map report,” and then go to a city/PUD website and fill out a short report form or call a number.
How Else Can I Keep My Home Safe in the Winter?
- Make sure that your home(s) has coverage, whether it be owner’s insurance, renter’s insurance, or landlord insurance in case you suffer damages, or someone gets hurt on your property. For some examples on coverage to review, click here.
- Keep your driveway safe against snow, ice, flooding, etc. by following tips like these. Mud can also be dangerous.
- Inspect for pests and take any necessary extermination measures.
- Mice, rats, racoons, stray cats, etc. love getting into things and destroying property. They also look for warm places during the winter. Any location that is promising for food and shelter, they are there. Keep your property clean so you do not attract them, and take safety measures to keep them out like poison, traps, fences, maintenance to walls/doors/windows, frequent inspections, etc.
- Be extra cautious and take the needed safety measures when approaching animals and using poison and traps.
- The roof so that it has no leaks and is sturdy (cave-ins aren’t fun).
- Windows and door seals
- Pipes—do they need lagging?
- The hot water tank—is it working efficiently? Is it leaking?
- Porch, driveway, and sidewalk—are they safe to walk on?
- We have more home maintenance tips and ways you can weatherproof your home!
What Are Some Other Winter Items to Consider?
There are endless amounts of precautions you can take to help you be safer on the road make your home a safer place to be. We are always gathering new ways to help our clients with everyday life tasks. For an ongoing list of life hacks, visit Mosaic’s Pinterest page. You can also go to our blog landing page and see what new and old items we have that can help you out, including our blog posts about holiday safety, how to cut energy costs, and how to save money in the winter.
Save this infographic for a yearly reminder. It will go perfectly alongside your November grocery list!
If you have any questions or content ideas to help spread safety awareness, don’t hesitate to reach out. You can call us at 425-320-4280. Our Marketing Manager, Meagan Baron, can be reached at 425-247-0208 or Meagan@mosaicia.com . We wish you all a happy and safe winter. Here’s to the upcoming new year!