BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – Massive accidents during Tuesday’s snowstorm left hundreds stranded along Interstate 80. Drivers were stuck waiting in their cars for up to 12 hours and many weren’t prepared for the emergency.
Travel experts with AAA advise drivers to carry emergency kits that include things to keep them warm and enough food and water to make it through hours in the cold.
“What you want to have in that kit is maybe some bottled water, some nonperishable food items and some things to keep the kids entertained,” Jim Garrity said.
Many preassembled kits are available online and in stores. They include basic items like flashlights, warning markers and repair kits.
Things like shovels, road salt and cat litter aren’t included, but can be found at any local hardware or grocery store.
“You’d be in a hardware store about 10 to 15 minutes and you’re going to be looking at $50 to $100 depending on how nice of a kit you want to build for yourself,” said Bill Stiles, manager of Ace Hardware in Boardman.
AAA said the kit you build for winter emergencies can be used in any season.
“When you’re preparing your car with an emergency kit and whatever you decide to add to an emergency kit, you want to keep it in the car with you — not just in the wintertime, but pretty much all year,” Garrity said.
He reminds drivers that the roadside kit is there to keep everyone in the car safe through any unforeseen event in any season.
“Make sure you have an emergency roadside kit with you,” Garrity said. “Make sure that when you’re stranded at the side of the road, you’re doing whatever you need to do to keep yourself and, potentially, your family out of harm’s way.”