Have an emergency kit ready before the winter storm

Emergency Management urges everyone to make a custom emergency kit for you and your family
Published: Dec. 20, 2022 at 4:23 PM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - If you’re traveling over the holidays, there’s a potential for a lot of snow, whiteouts, and slippery conditions.

Brown County Executive Troy Streckenbach called the incoming storm “a doozy” Tuesday, but he doesn’t want it to wreck your holiday season.

“If you’re traveling up north where you know there’s not going to be a lot of gas stations, you might actually get stranded out in the middle of nowhere. Then your preparation really should be thinking about, what do I do if I’m stranded for a few days or a long extended period of time,” Streckenbach warned.

The Brown County Emergency Management team says everyone should be prepared for an emergency on the roads no matter how far -- or close -- you need to travel. It wants everyone to put together an emergency car kit.

“A tow strap, hand warmers. Basically, think of what you might need if you were stranded for several hours in your vehicle,” Lauri Maki, Brown County director of emergency management, said.

Maki believes everyone should prepare in case they end up stranded on the side of the road in freezing temperatures. No one wants that, but items like a flashlight and blankets can make the situation a lot more comfortable. Kitty litter could give you traction if you end up stuck.

“Small things like this can certainly make your time stranded that much more successful and ultimately get you back home or your destination safely,” County Executive Troy Streckenbach said.

Even if your car is filled with suitcases and presents, Maki said, “You don’t need a ton of space for an emergency kit in your vehicle. It could be something as small as this that you keep in your glove compartment or in your trunk.”

Kits should be tailored to perfectly fit your needs. Some individuals carry special medication, while families need more water bottles and food to share.

“You might have a family of five that will have more extra waters, more extra emergency blankets as opposed to a couple–husband and wife, for example–that would have less items because it’s just the two of them,” Maki said.

“If you have a small child you might even think of putting a coloring book, a small pack of cards, something that can keep them occupied when you’re dealing with whatever you’re dealing with,” Maki continued.

Emergency Management says the best plan of action is to stay off the roads, but if you need to drive for the holidays you have to prepare ahead of time.

“Even if you don’t have a kit -- of course we want you to have a kit -- but dress appropriately for the weather. A lot of people say, ‘I’m just going to the gas station,’ and then what happens if your car ends up in the ditch?” said Maki.

For more suggestions on what to put in your car’s emergency kit, visit the Ready Wisconsin website.

Emergency Management urges everyone to have an emergency kit in their car