Winter in South Dakota is a stark reminder of how quickly bad weather can move in. If you drive in the Midwest during winter you need to be prepared for snowstorms.

Are you ready? Here are 10 things everyone should have in their vehicle:

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First, if you can, stay where you are during a snowstorm, also known as 'sheltering in place.' It's always best to ride out the storm inside.

But if you must travel, check out for road condition information from the South Dakota Department of Transportation. And travel with an emergency kit.

What You Need For a South Dakota Winter Survival Kit

Shovel. Keep a small one in the trunk to shovel snow from around tires in an emergency.

Jumper cables. There is no sadder sound than a car groaning to start on a cold morning. Keeping jumper cables on hand is always a good idea and could help you avoid an unpleasant or potentially life-threatening situation.

Cat litter. Grumpy cat will look even grumpier if you steal his litter, but it could create the traction you need to get unstuck.

Candle. A little light and warmth can go a long way in extreme emergencies.

Basic tool kit. Channel your inner MacGyver using pliers, screwdriver, adjustable wrench, pocketknife, duct tape, and rope. Your ingenuity may surprise you in extreme circumstances.

Flashlight. The only thing more miserable than being stranded in your vehicle is being stranded in your vehicle in the dark. A flashlight with extra batteries is a must.

Warm clothes. If stranded do not leave your vehicle. More than likely, you’ve been out in the snow and ice trying to free your vehicle and now you're cold and wet. Keep a change of clothes, including socks, gloves, a hat, and boots as well as a blanket or sleeping bag. If you have to wait it out in your vehicle, at least you'll be warm and dry.

Food and water. Energy bars, protein bars, candy, dried fruits, and nuts are a wise idea for the vehicle. The challenge is trying not to snack on them on the way home in nice weather. Guilty.

First aid kit. Keep a simple, stocked first-aid kit and an extra supply of vitamins. Make sure it includes a few packs of hand warmers.

AM/FM radio. A solar panel with a crank or battery-powered radio will keep you informed on the changing weather.

Just as important as having these items in your vehicle, make sure to schedule a tune-up to make sure your car is ready for winter. Plan for a harsh winter. Pack as though you'll need the emergency items. Let your family and friends know if you are taking a lengthy trip and the route you will take. And please...remember to always have a full tank of gas.

10 Food that Help Get You Get Through a South Dakota Winter

Winter in South Dakota ain't no joke. It's not all winter wonderland and cute hat and glove combos.

It's snowy and freaking cold under gray skies. Just the right combination of things to make you fantasize about Arizona.

Don't worry though, it'll be over soon and we can enjoy our one-of-a-kind summers. Plus we have a delicious line-up of warm comfort food to help get through it all.

And quit dreaming, SD is waaayyy better than AZ for lots of reasons, but especially: NO Tarantulas.

Gallery Credit: Ben Kuhns

A Survival Guide For Your First Winter in South Dakota

Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and the rest of the Sioux Empire (AKA southeastern South Dakota) are welcoming thousands of new residents every year.

Many of you new folks will be experiencing your first eastern South Dakota winter. While it doesn't usually get as bad as our Dakota friends up north, I speak from experience when I say it can get a little rough.

So, to help ease you into winter in Sioux Falls and South Dakota here are some winter survival tips:


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