I got chills...

Happy New Year! 2018 is finally here and underway. Like most people, I looked forward to the new year and I was certain this year was going to be a year of change and new adventures. This morning my first adventure occurred!

If you know me personally, you’ll know that I detest snow. I hate driving in it, I hate shoveling it, and I hate being out in it. I wish I could say I was like Elsa from Frozen and that the “cold never bothered me anyway”, but I can’t. Because it does. It bothers me a lot.

So anyway, the weather has been pretty snowy and cold lately and we all know that’s the best time for accidents, breakdowns, and car troubles. I don’t know why, but bad things always seem to happen when the weather is crappy.

Fortunately for me, I’ve had pretty good luck with cars. I’ve only had issues a couple times and I’ve never broke down in the snow. Well, new year, new problems, right? Guess whose car broke down? Mine. Guess who doesn’t have an emergency kit in her car? Me. I know what you’re thinking, “Cami, you work at the health department and you write articles about preparedness, you know better than that!” Well, you’re right. But in my defense, I never thought it would happen to me. Did someone just roll their eyes?

Back to the story; this morning I am a living, breathing, FREEZING, testament to why you should always be prepared. My lack of preparation made a difficult situation ten times worse than it had to be. Even though my car came with a roadside assistance service, it’s not a fast one. So here I am, shivering in my car with no jacket (I was in a hurry, mother!), waiting for a tow truck that may not make it until the next new year. I couldn’t help but think of all the things that I should have had with me in case of emergencies, but didn’t.

In times like these, car emergency kits are a necessity. These kits usually contain things like: blankets, gloves, a flashlight, batteries, tow straps, snacks, water, a first-aid kit, and more. The contents are based on the climate you live in, and around here, most of the contents are for colder weather.

Stores like Walmart and Target sell pre-assembled kits for under $30.00, but my suggestion is to build an emergency kit yourself. Customizing a kit allows you to pick the items that will be most helpful to your situation, while also giving you the freedom of adding personal items such as extra medication or your favorite snacks.

If you have questions while building your car emergency kit, feel free to contact our Emergency and Threat Preparedness Coordinator, Shawn Thorn, at 304-669-2729 or www.GTCHDWV.org.

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