By Tony Aiello

RYE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Countless drivers got stuck on I-95 in Virginia for 20 hours or more after snowstorm-related accidents tangled traffic.

The incident serves as an important reminder to have an emergency kit on hand in your vehicle.

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CBS Miami reporter Jim DeFede was among those stuck on I-95, south of Quantico, Virginia.

“There are cars and families just trapped here this entire time,” DeFede said. “It’s 19 degrees outside.”

It’s an extreme example of a chilling winter worry — getting stuck.

“Nobody’s ever expecting it to happen to them,” City of Rye Police Commissioner Michael Kopy told CBS2’s Tony Aiello.

He handled multiple storms last winter as director of emergency management for the governor’s office.

“And if you’re prepared, then you can begin to deal with a potentially life-threatening situation if you’re stuck in your vehicle overnight,” Kopy said.

Winter survival car kits sold online range from basic to James Bond worthy.

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You can easily make your own. Start with a bin for stuff to keep you warm and non-perishables to keep you fed.

Also recommended — a shovel, first aid kit, flashlight and perhaps a portable smartphone power bank so you can charge it even if your car isn’t running.

Another recommendation — kitty litter, which can help create traction if you’re stuck spinning your wheels.

One Dobbs Ferry couple says it’s smart to be prepared.

“We have our kit. We have a towel instead of a blanket, and we keep water in our car,” Diane Quartlebaum said.

“We never take any chances. We’re always prepared,” Will James said.

“We always keep a full tank of gas, especially in the wintertime,” Quartlebaum said.

It’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.

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Experts say it’s also vital to keep necessary medications with you.

Tony Aiello