Make your list and check it twice; is your car equipped for holiday travel?

During the holiday season, it seems like everyone has a list. Your kids have a Christmas gift list, and Santa Claus has a list for naughty and nice children. Now, the Washington Department of Transportation has a checklist, too. It’s everything they want you to put in your car before you hit the road.

Make your list and check it twice; is your car equipped for holiday travel?

Putting together an emergency supply kit for your car really only takes a few minutes. You just throw it all in a bag, and put it in your trunk. That way, you’re ready in case of an emergency.

WSDOT already did the work for us. Now, we just have to check off the items:

Extra batteries
First aid kit
Cell phone charger
Tire chains
Ice scraper
Jumper cables
Flares, warning triangles
Kitty litter (for traction)

The best part about this list is most people already have these items.

“Grab little extra things. Maybe your kids have a whistle that they don’t use in the winter time that you can throw in. A space blanket. If you’ve got an emergency preparedness kit at home,” said Ryan Overton, WSDOT.

The one some people might not have is the most important.

“Chains, and sure you always carry chains in the car, any car. Even if you have all-wheel drive, four-wheel drive, chains are still required to keep in the vehicle at all times,” Overton said.

If you have them, make sure you know how to use them.

“Practice makes perfect when it comes to putting chains on the car.You can get very quick at putting your chains on the car when you practice it. Now is a great time, the sun is out. It’s not too cold, so take ten or fifteen minutes. Grab the chains out of the car, and just try to put them on before you head over the mountain,” Overton said.

An easy way to learn is to grab a spare tire and practice on that.

“A busy travel holiday, school’s out, and we have a lot of students on the road. General travel over the mountain passes, people visiting family over the holidays,” Overton said.