City of St. Paul Park 

on the Mississippi

Prepare your vehicle for winter weather

If the forecast is ominous, plan ahead before you drive.

  • Clean windows inside and out
  • Fill up windshield washer fluid
  • Be sure tires have good tread and are properly inflated.
  • Use your headlights even if ti's daytime so you can see better and others can see you.
  • Clear snow, frost and ice off all windows and exterior lights before you go.
  • Keep your gas tank at least 1/2 full.


Use an empty-pound coffee can or any similar container with a plastic cover to store the following items.  Store safety items in the passenger compartment when severe weather threatens in case the trunk is jammed or frozen shut.
  • Small candles and matches
  • Small, sharp knife and plastic spoons
  • Red bandanna or cloth--tie bandanna to your antenna or hang it out the window.  At night, keep your dome light on.  Rescue crews can see a small glow at a distance.  To reduce battery drain, use emergency flashers only if you hear approaching vehicles.
  • Pencil and paper
  • Large plastic garbage bat
  • Safety pins
  • Whistle--to attract attention
  • Snacks--choose small packages of food that you can eat hot or cold. (raisins, miniature candy bars, gum, hard candies, food bars, canned soup or meats that does not require a can opener).
  • Cell phone adapter to plug into lighter
  • Plastic flashlight and spare batteries--Reverse batteries in the flashlight to avoid accidental switching and burnout. Warm batteries before using them. 

Additional items to consider:
  • Necessary medications
  • 30-foot cord to use as homing line when you must exit the vehicle.
  • Booster cables
  • Basic tools
  • Sand, cat litter or other grit in a plastic milk carton
  • Shovel
  • Tow cables or chain
  • Sleeping bag or blankets
  • Road flares and reflectors
  • Snowmobile suit and heavy boots

If you become stranded and you have a cell phone, call 911 to summon help.
  • Provide information on your location, condition of all persons in the vehicle and the problem you are experiencing.
  • Follow instructions; you may be told to stay where you are and wait for rescuers
  • Do not hang up until you know who you have spoken with and what will happen next.
  • If you must leave your vehicle, write down your name, address, phone number and destination.  Place the piece of paper inside the front windshield for someone to see.
City of St. Paul Park, 600 Portland Avenue, St. Paul Park MN 55071