1. Always have an ice scraper in the car. Ice can form in minutes in extreme conditions.
2.When removing ice from windshields wipers, use caution. Ice around wiper can tear the rubber if not removed with care, causing it to work improperly or fail outright. Chopping at the ice can also tear the tube delivering fluid to the wipers. Having experienced this firsthand, it can be a scary proposition when you are pulled off on a dangerous highway, sitting close to passing traffic
3. If you are stuck on a narrow, snowy road with high traffic, it is best to get away from the car and try to seek shelter near by. Rear-end collisions from out of control vehicles are the cause of countless fatal injuries.
4. Always carry some sort of thermal blanket in your car. If stranded, huddling together will create body heat that could keep you alive if your cars system were to shut down.
5.Antifreeze: This is an important one for winter, as it keeps vital fluids in your car liquid, instead of frozen, during cold winter storms. Make sure your antifreeze is fresh, and that it is filled.
6.Exhaust System: During the winter months, windows are closed, the air is often re-circulated, and snow or ice can shroud a car. If your exhaust system is not working properly, this could result in excess noxious fumes being put into your car's interior. Exhaust fumes are poisonous, and, in large enough quantities, fatal.
7. If stranded and snow is building up around you, make sure your exhaust pipe is clear from snow. If blocked, fumes will have no where to exit and will eventually fill your car, making for an almost fatal situation.
8.Tires: Depending upon the area of the country you live in, you may require a completely different set of tires for winter (snow tires or studded tires). Other people prefer to carry snow chains when snow isn't a months-long constant, so they don't have to be changing tires over and over. If it's time for snow tires, most people in an area talk about it, and most people know it. However, if you carry chains, just because they're in your trunk doesn't mean you'll know how to use them. Do a "dry run", putting on chains with someone who knows how, when the weather is nice. That way, when you encounter a snowstorm you'll have some confidence about putting on the chains. Some chains are easier to put on than others. They usually cost more, but can be applied without even rolling the car back and forth over the chains.
9.Battery: One of the less expensive parts of a car is a battery, yet it can shut the entire system down if it's dead. Batteries last varying lengths; the more expensive ones last longer. When a battery is installed, the date of installation should be indicated on the top of the label. If it's not, be sure to put it on yourself when you install a new battery. Nothing is worse than being stuck in the middle of nowhere during a torrential rain or freezing snowstorm with a dead battery --- that means no heater or lights, either. Find out today when your battery was installed. If it's getting close to the end of its life, think about replacing it.
10. Winter Storm Bag: Every motorist should have a bag in his or her trunk that contains potentially life-saving gear. Most of this can be obtained from around the house without spending a dime --- such as a blanket for each family member, matches or lighters and towels, and some nonperishable foods, such as granola bars. Canned fruit and nuts are great as long as you keep the hand-cranked can opener with them. Some bottled water, extra socks, and gloves are useful and at hand for most people. Rain gear that fits into a small purse is available in many variety stores very reasonably, so that enough for an entire family can easily go into your supply bag. If you're the type who always brings along appropriate shoes along during a storm, then you won't have to worry about adding some collapsible rubber galoshes to the bag. You'll need a flashlight with extra batteries in case you're on a dark road and need to change a tire or put on chains at night. Some models allow you to use your cigarette lighter to get a tremendous amount of light --- but you can't take it with you if you need to walk somewhere --- so keep the traditional kind on hand as well.
10. A small sack of sand not only helps keep the back of your car heavier and adhered to the road, but can provide traction when spilled on slick surfaces as well. A folding camping shovel doesn't take up much space, but you'll be glad to have it if stuck in mud or snow
11. Always carry enough medication for a three day carry-over.