Keeping cold weather supplies in your car could help avoid big problems

By Tim Pulliam - email

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - This is definitely the kind of weather no one wants to be caught outside in. One of the worst feelings is when your car won't crank or you get stranded on the side of the road out in the cold. If you don't prepare now, you could regret it later.

Jerrold Poston's job keeps him busy up and down the highway from Florence to Columbia, and he's had his share of breakdowns. "Quite a few times," he said. "Sometimes it can be a nerve-racking experience."

We gave Poston a pop quiz to see if he's prepared the next time it happens. As he scanned the checklist of recommended items for drivers to have on hand, he said he's almost good to go. "Jumping cables, I keep spare tools, I keep a first aid kit, things I feel I would need if I did breakdown," he listed.

Safety experts say you should also have a flashlight, extra batteries, bottled water and non-perishable food. Those necessities would have helped Charles Adams when he was stranded on a mountain in North Carolina. "I had to walk out to the next exit and call in the Highway Patrol," he said. "Spent the next three hours in the car."

Adams learned his lesson, but if other traveler break down, they could be in trouble.

That includes college student Joydan Hickey, who was headed to Maryland to see her dad. "I just looked at the list that you had and the only thing I have in my car is a pillow and a blanket," said Hickey.

Now that she knows better, she plans to do better. "I'm going to get my dad to get it for me when I get home," she said. "I feel like he would be really concerned for my safety."

Driving home the message that a little "tune-up" now will save you big headaches later. "Think a little bit before you leave home," said Poston. "Prepare yourself."

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