If you plan on heading home for the holidays, you want to make sure you're prepared for the worst.

The key to great winter road trips, of course, is being prepared. Winter throws plenty of extra curveballs at drivers, which means you need to make sure you’ve got all of your ducks in a row before you embark on your winter journey. After all, the last thing you want is for your car to conk out on you in sub-zero temperatures in the middle of nowhere.

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Be sure you have enough emergency supplies to get you through at least three days:

  • Check your battery - Get it load-tested, especially if your car is a bit older; it’s harder for your battery to hold a charge in cold weather, so a weak battery and freezing temperatures are a risky combination.
  • Get a Tune-up - Make sure your car is ready for the trip (oil change, tread on tires, etc..)
  • Bring extra windshield wiper fluid - This will help keep the ice off of your windshield
  • Check for road closures - This one sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s an easy one to forget while you’re scrambling to get ready for your trip.
  • Bottled Water (One gallon per person per day)
  • Flashlights and batteries
  • Prescription medicines
  • Battery-powered radio
  • First aid kit
  • Warm clothing and blankets
  • Cellular phone and emergency charger
  • Pet food and additional water for pets

Being prepared is the best defense against the harsh winters in Montana. Merry Christmas to you and your family!