As much as we've wanted to forget about it, winter is coming here if you haven't noticed by now.

We've received all sorts of weather notifications from the National Weather Service over the last few days about a lake effect snow storm that would leave plowable amounts of snow on the ground in Western New York.

While many of us heard these warnings and made sure we were ready, there is always that select few people who chose to pretend like winter doesn't do this to us every year. Just because you've left your snowbrush in the car all summer doesn't mean your vehicle is winter-ready. Don't wait for the next lake effect snow band to hit to ensure you're ready.

If there is one thing I learned in my years of living in the Northeast, you won't need to get ready if you stay ready. Having all the necessary emergency supplies in your car will save your life if you find yourself in a bad situation. This is key because you may need to find a way to survive for a while if you find yourself inside a broken-down car or stuck on the side of the road because of the weather; having these things in your truck will go a long way towards making sure you're safe and sound until help arrives.

Before anything else, in Buffalo, we already know we have to keep a good-quality snowbrush in the car, along with heavy-duty jumper cables. Snow-covered vehicles with dead batteries are almost a given during a Western New York winter. You also always want to ensure that your spare tire and jack are in good condition. Once you make sure you have those things, don't forget to add some of these to your list:

Gloves, Extra Warm Clothes, and a Blanket

Blizzard Barrels Into Northeastern U.S. OLD BETHPAGE, NY - JANUARY 27: A child's glove is crusted in snow on January 27, 2015 in Old Bethpage. New York. The Long Island region received between twelve and thirty inches of snow overnight into midday Tuesday from Winter Storm Juno. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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If you find yourself snowed in or stuck in a snowstorm, having a good pair of gloves and extra winter clothes will help you stay warm until help can arrive. While you’re at it, you might as well throw in some blankets and non-perishable snacks.

Flashlight and Batteries

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You may find yourself in an area that doesn't have a lot of light, or it might even be pitch dark outside. Make sure you have a way to illuminate your way as you go about your travels.

Tool Set or Multitool

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One of the things I use the most in my car is my multitool. You never know what you will need to cut, screw, or interact with, and good quality multitool or tool set will go quite far in helping you stay prepared.

An Emergency Shovel and Pickaxe

Snowstorm Hits Buffalo
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Have you ever been in a situation where you tried to turn onto a side street that hadn’t been plowed too well, and you got stuck? Having an emergency shovel in your car can really be helpful. You can quickly shovel that extra snow to the side and then be back on your way.

Sand, Rock Salt, and/or Kitty Litter

Massive Winter Storm Brings Snow And Heavy Winds Across Large Swath Of Eastern Seaboard BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 04: A city worker puts down salt along the empty streets of Boston as the snow begins to fall during a massive winter storm on January 4, 2018 in Boston, United States. Schools and businesses throughout the Boston area are closed as the city is expecting over a foot of snow and blizzard like conditions throughout the day. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
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Just like with the shovel, if you ever find yourself on a really slick road or stuck in some snow, throwing down some rock salt, kitty litter, or sand will help you gain some traction and get back on the move.

Road Flares

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If you're stranded on the roadside or need emergency help, road flares are the perfect tool to let people know where you are. You might get an extra plus for using battery-operated ones instead of the regular ones that you have to ignite.

First-Aid Kit

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This item can be helpful to you all year. We all have had cuts and scrapes that could use some antiseptic ointment and small bandages. Go ahead and grab a small first-aid kit and throw it in your trunk.

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