(WKBN) – Winter is off to a fast start with snowflakes in the air and cold temperatures across our area.

This is Winter Safety Awareness Week in Ohio. It is a good time to make sure you and your family are prepared for the winter season and the trouble it could bring with dangerous travel and cold temperatures.

What you should have in your car

It is a good idea to be prepared for the season by having your vehicle equipped with specific items to help keep you and your family warm and safe if caught in a storm or stuck in the snow.

You may already have some of these items in your car, but it is a good time to check and make sure they are ready for this winter.

Keeping warm:

A blanket or sleeping bag is a great item to keep in your vehicle. You never know if you are going to lose power and have to wait on a tow truck. You could also be stranded in snow or stuck on the interstate in a traffic jam.

Extra clothes such as gloves, scarves, hats and even boots are a good idea to have on hand. You never know if you are going to have to get out and push or dig yourself out of a snowdrift.

Something to eat:

If you get stranded or stuck, you may be there for a long time. It is a good idea to have some food, just in case, to help keep your body warm.

Any bottled water or juice is a good idea, but remember, it will freeze if left in your car. You want to have some nonperishable high-energy foods available. Some examples would be raisins, peanut butter, crackers and granola bars.

In case of emergency:

It is a good idea to have an emergency kit put together. That would include a first-aid kit and any medication you may need if stuck in a location for a long period, as well as a battery-powered flashlight and even extra batteries just in case you are stuck for a long period of time.

You more than likely will have your cell phone with you, but it is a good idea to make sure your charger is with you in case you are stuck over a period of time, too.

Emergency flares or triangles may also help if you are stuck or in an accident.

If you are stuck:

A shovel is a great item to keep with you in case you need to dig yourself out of a snowbank or drift. Another item that is handy to have is a bag of sand or non-clumping cat litter to help with tire traction on ice or packed snow.

Other items that could help if you are stranded:

Don’t forget the snow brush/ice scraper! This item is often used in the winter to get your car brushed off and ice scraped from your windshield.

Extra windshield fluid is a good idea, too.

It is not a bad idea to keep jumper cables with you as well, in case you need a jump start or need to help someone else out when stuck in the cold.