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Trooper Suggests Winter Survival Kit Items, Winter Driving Tips

Northwest Iowa — In the next few days, while there’s little chance for snow — maybe now’s the time to make sure that your winter survival kit in your vehicle is well-stocked with the right type of items.

We had a chance to visit with Iowa State Patrol Trooper Vince Kurtz, who tells us people should take a moment to think about winter driving. He calls it a “change of mindset.”


He says people sometimes get the idea that it’s up to the road crews to keep the roads in shape so that you can maintain control of your vehicle. But Kurtz says that’s not the case.


According to Kurtz, there are three main items you should keep in your vehicle in the winter, and several others that would be a good idea. He says the first one is almost a foregone conclusion nowadays — a way to communicate, like a cell phone.


Even though drinks may freeze if you keep them in the vehicle, they will thaw as you stay in your warm vehicle and provide you with something to drink. Remember that water expands when it freezes and could burst the container if you’re not careful.

Kurtz says there are other items that would be a good idea to include.


Some experts suggest some kitty litter to pour out under your drive-wheel tires to help with traction if you are in a slippery spot. If you are on meds, it would be a good idea to include at least a day’s supply of them.

Some items you might want to have in your vehicle year-round, according to experts. Such things may include jumper cables, reflective triangles, and a small hand-cranked or battery-operated AM/FM radio (with extra batteries).

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office has also released some winter driving and survival tips. Click here for that list.

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