WDAY: The News Leader

Published December 01, 2013, 10:07 PM

How to prepare a ‘just in case’ winter survival kit

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - And with the forecast in mind it begs the question, are you ready to tackle winter weather driving.

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - And with the forecast in mind it begs the question, are you ready to tackle winter weather driving.

It doesn't take much to lose control, get lost, or end up in a ditch.

"I had some vehicle trouble, probably about five miles from home or so."

For Ron Johnson, it was his engine which let him down, leaving him stranded on a cold North Dakota road.

Johnson: "It was only about a half hour but it was just surprising how long or how short it took actually for it to get really cold in the vehicle."

Then, he barely had his license. And on a frigid December night, what he didn't have was a cell phone, or anything to keep him alive.

Johnson: "Even then we had a mild winter but still, it wasn't all that terribly cold but it still got cold really fast in the vehicle."

Today, he wishes things would have been different. So we decided to explore what Ron could have used to keep his side of the road stay - a little easier.

MAC's Hardware was nice enough to show us how to survive.

According to FEMA, before hitting the road pack things like a blanket, a shovel, candy to keep you going, and other items, you might not think to grab, like a tow rope.

"’Cause not everyone drives around with one. But, we have littler ones for cars."

Individual items like this could cost you $70 or more. But now, some places make it easier.

You can get your hands on a ready-to-go kit for about 40 or more bucks.

So, whichever way you go, the price could mean the difference between living and dying.

Johnson: “Just a matter of being able to hold out through the cold for a little while longer, ya know, is all it takes."

Luckily for Ron, he made it home safe.

But it doesn't take much - to be prepared just in case.

Johnson: "Part of it is just a sense of security too, if you do get stranded, I mean having those items should help a person to prevent from panicking really. And it gets to be pretty scary if you don't have them."

If you haven't already, FEMA also recommends winterizing your vehicle. That includes checking your anti-freeze levels, installing winter tires, with healthier tread. Make sure your battery is in top condition and ensure your heater is working properly.