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What if you get stranded? Here's how to make a car emergency kit

It's best practice to always travel with a full tank of gas, when anticipating any inclement weather.

WASHINGTON — After thousands were stranded on I-95 for more than 24 hours in Virginia during a January snowstorm, AAA is recommending that all drivers make sure they have an emergency kit ready for any winter weather. And, of course, always travel with a full tank of gas. 

Items to have in your car include: 

  • Snow shovel
  • Scraper or de-icer
  • Extra blankets
  • Warm clothing
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Extra medications.

"That was unprecedented what we saw, to have people stuck in their cars in really frigid temperatures, so you want to make sure you have a blanket in your vehicle, some heavy clothing, a hat, extra gloves - things of that nature to help keep you and your passengers warm, should you find yourself stranded," said Ragina Ali, manager of Public & Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic.

An AAA study found that more than 40% of drivers don't carry an emergency kit.

Ali said if you're stranded, stay in your car and try to limit running the car

"You want to make sure that you perhaps run your car for about 10 minutes. Use that time to charge your cell phone as well and then turn your car off so you can conserve fuel as best as possible," Ali said. "We also recommend that you stay in your vehicle. That’s the safest place for you, that’s the warmest place. The only time we would recommend you getting out is to check your exhaust pipe to make sure there's no debris or snow or anything like that clogging it. That could cause carbon monoxide poisoning."

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