I've always been taught to throw some extra stuff in the trunk for winter. What kind of prep do you to for your car when the snow rolls in?

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A snowstorm on the East Coast grinded traffic to a halt along the I-95 corridor heading to DC from Virginia Monday night, causing some people to be stuck in traffic for over 24 hours.

Yup. Traffic grinded to a standstill for more than a day!

Josh Lederman of NBC News was caught in the jam up, and he referred to it as "dystopian", and then said "You don't plan for a situation like this".

Um, I beg to differ with you, Josh.

First, let's tone down the hyperbole. Being caught in a winter storm isn't "dystopian". Go read "The Road" by Corman McCarthy if you want to experience dystopia.

Second, you can and SHOULD prepare for being caught in winter weather.

My mom and dad always tossed a winter's worth of supplies in the trunk after the first snow, just in case things got out of hand and you found yourself stuck in a snowstorm, unable to move.

It started with a sandbag for extra weight. With today's front wheel drive and all-wheel drive cars and SUVs, this is probably no longer necessary, but it wouldn't hurt to have some sand to help with traction if you slid off the road.

Next, we had a bag of salt, to help melt the snow and ice if you were in a ditch, or, again, unable to get traction.

Then there was a small snow shovel, some snacks that kept well like cereal or granola bard, a blanket and some gloves to keep warm, and some reading material like old magazines or puzzle books to keep you occupied in case emergency wreckers were back logged and you had to wait.

And, I may be showing my age here, but my dad also had tire chains if we needed extra traction.

The good news is, while the salt and the sand came in handy one winter when my mom was driving home from picking up my sister a college, we never did get to the point of needing the blankets, food or reading material, but it was nice to know we had it.

Emergency winter supplies have long been a Michigan tradition. I know my folks weren't the only ones who prepped their cars for winter.

What things do you put in your car to prepare for a winter emergency?

Ahead of the Winter Storm Warning today, the National Weather Service suggested folks stock their cars with an extra flashlight, food, and water.

Here's what Michigan State Police say should go in your "car emergency kit":

  • Batteries
  • Flashlight
  • Phone charger
  • Water and non-perishable food
  • Blanket
  • First aid kit
  • Jumper cables

November 2014 Set A Record For Snow Fall

Grand Rapids Michigan, November 2014 Record Snowfall For November, Huff Park, November 2014