First responders urge drivers to store winter emergency kit

First responders urge drivers to store winter emergency kit

GRAND TRAVERSE COUNTY, Mich. (WPBN/WGTU) -- Winter weather is here and that means the roads can be slippery and lead to dangerous driving conditions.

First responders recommend having an emergency safety kit to better prepare yourself for emergency situations on the roads during the winter.

According to Grand Traverse 911 more than 70 accidents were reported due to weather on Wednesday and eight of those accidents required fire and EMS responses.

On a busy day like Wednesday, it may take first responders longer to get to a crash scene when there are no injuries reported, that’s when an emergency kit comes in handy.

An emergency kit should have necessities such as: a winter coat, gloves, hat, hand warmers, snow brush, snow shovel, traffic cones, flashlight, blanket, flares, water, fire extinguisher, portable phone charger and windshield wiper fluid.

“The biggest problem that we have with these winter emergency situations is that people are under-prepared,” said Lt. Kyle Clute, Grand Traverse Metro Fire Department. “A lot of the times people are just going to the grocery store, or making a really quick trip and they just have the tennis shoes and a hoodie sweatshirt. They're not really ready to stand out in the cold. We try to make accommodations as best as we can when we get to an emergency scene. We try to get people out of the cold, but often times the hypothermia becomes an issue that we have to deal with.”

Clute says a lot of the times people will get out of their cars to help when they see an accident, but this puts other people in danger.

The best option is to wait for emergency responders to arrive and remind your friends and family to have an emergency kit in their vehicle this winter.

You can make your own emergency kit by buying the supplies individually or you can find kits at stores like Walmart and Target for about $40.

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