Whether embarking on a road trip, or simply travelling to the grocery store, any driver can run into a hazardous situation, such as a dead battery, a mechanical breakdown or hitting a patch of bad weather.
In such circumstances, it will be a relief to have an emergency kit on hand. Take a look below for a list of items we recommend including in your vehicle emergency kit.
What to include in a basic emergency kit
Here are a number of items that will be very helpful to have on hand should you get stuck in your car for an extended period of time.
- Non-perishable food (e.g., energy bars, mixed nuts, cereal)
- Bottled water
- Warm blanket
- First-aid kit
- Flashlight (preferably a Dynamo or hand-crank model)
- Warning lights or flares
- Jumper cables (good quality to withstand cold temperatures)
- Candle in a deep metal can (to keep you warm if the temperature drops)
- Fire extinguisher
- Whistle (to attract attention)
- All-purpose tape
- Empty gas can
- Back-up battery (or portable battery booster) to run electronic equipment
Winterize your emergency kit
November is the perfect time to add a few items to your emergency kit. These additional items will allow you to extricate yourself from a snow bank, clean the snow off your vehicle and keep you warm in the event of a breakdown.
- Window scraper
- Snow brush
- Bag of sand or other abrasive material (for tire traction on ice and snow)
- Traction mat
- Warm clothing, including hats, mittens, socks and spare winter boots (especially important when travelling long distances in harsh weather conditions)
Two suggestions that could make a big difference!
You can drive with greater peace of mind by keeping these items in your vehicle:
Scissors or a pocket knife
Following an accident, the seatbelt mechanism can be hard to reach or may seize up due to impact, making it difficult to get out of your car quickly. If you keep scissors or a pocket knife in your glove compartment, you’ll be able to cut the belt and free yourself from a tight situation.
Whether changing a flat tire or clearing ice from your windshield wipers, if ever you need to stop on the shoulder of a highway, it will be much safer to do so if you are visible to other drivers, especially after sundown. That’s when the reflective safety vest that you keep in your trunk will prove very useful!