It's always when you're not expecting it that you suddenly wished you'd thrown a few things in your vehicle.By John Shumway

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — While what recently happened in the Virginia Snow storm was the extreme, it doesn’t take much to find yourself stuck. A serious accident ahead on the Parkway North with no way to get off of the road, and suddenly you’re just sitting. In those situations, there are some essentials you will want to have with you to help you get through.

It’s always when you’re not expecting it that you suddenly wished you’d thrown a few things in your vehicle.

The images from Virginia this week, or those from our own Turnpike a few years ago clearly illustrate what could be.

“If me and the family had to sit at the roadside for several hours, what would we need? That’s the kind of stuff you plan for and that’s the kind of things you put in the vehicle,” said AAA’s Jim Garrity.

Both at AAA and with State Farm Insurance, experts say to think of survival first.

“Some non perishable food, water. Dehydration can be a really big issue if you’re cold and you’re stuck in your car. In fact, you know when it comes to when it comes to bottle of water a whole case is not a bad idea,” said State Farm’s Jennifer Johnson Nazareth.

Things to help keep warm, like a blanket, gloves, and hats for you and the whole family are all things that aren’t a bad idea to bring along.

Preserving gas becomes a priority, with the recommendation to only turn on the vehicle for 10 minutes at a time to warm up the car between those increments.It’s recommended to not let the gas tank slip below half-full this time of year.

Johnson Nazareth says for women, having extra shoes is a good idea, saying that if you’re wearing flats, those aren’t good for hiking or walking outside.

If you yourself end up getting stuck, you’ll want to be able to get yourself mobilized, so having things in the trunk like salt, sand, kitty liter, a shovel, and jumper cables all are important. A chain or a rope, a broom, and of course a window scraper are all things that can be good to have on hand to help if you get stuck, also.

Garrity says that dead batteries are by and large the number one thing that leads to calls to AAA, especially during the winter months.

A cell phone cable to plug into the car is important, but State Farm says to consider bringing along a portable charger as well.

If you have children, make sure there’s something in the car to keep them occupied.

All of this could be very important. If there’s a serious crash on one of our parkways and you’re trapped between exits, you could be sitting for hours in frigid temperatures.

It’s suggested all of these preparations should be made and these things should stay in your vehicle until spring time. Let’s hope you never need any of it, but if you do, you’ll be thankful you put it all together.

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