The early start to winter was a stark reminder of how quickly winter storms can move in. If you drive in the Dakota's through winter you need to be prepared for sudden snowstorms. Are you ready? Here are 10 things everyone should have in their vehicle:

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 heat can go a long way when stranded.

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 fully 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.

Midwest Forecast: Winter of 2019 - 2020 Could Be Quite Severe

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.