YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – In the wake of this week’s heavy snowfall that left thousands stranded in their cars in Virginia, experts say it’s a good idea to keep your own vehicle stocked in case something like that ever happened here.

As that snow-bound stretch of I-95 in Virginia finally reopened, experts urged motorists to be prepared. Jim Garrity with AAA said he keeps a bag in his vehicles full of useful items such as a small flashlight and gloves, among other items.

“Something to fill up your tires if need be, jumper cables, zip ties and tools in case you need to make repairs,” he said. “At the end of the day, if you find yourself at the roadside and you need and don’t have it, you’re going to wish you’d spent that money.”

Garrity says depending on who is in the car with you, it’s a good idea to bring snacks, pet food, water to share, blankets, coats and hats.

This week’s snow storm trapped thousands in their cars for more than a day before the roads could be cleared. In this area, there have been a number of weather-related chain-reaction crashes, including one involving more than 50-vehicles on I-80 in Austintown near Meander Reservoir in 2019.

The biggest problem drivers face this time of year is a dead battery. AAA handled more than 250,000 calls for dead batteries in this region last year.

Another concern is gasoline. Garrity says not to let your tank get close to empty.

“You want to be filling up at least when you hit a quarter of a tank. It’s probably not a bad idea to fill up when you hit half a tank,” he said.