Now that we are in the middle of the winter season it is important to think about what we should have in our vehicles. We are all busy and are not going to let winter driving conditions keep us trapped indoors. When you are out on the road and car trouble occurs you could find yourself stranded. Now add the fact that you are travelling and are in between destinations (middle of nowhere) and the winter temperatures it can create an emergency situation. With that in mind we should all have a emergency kit in our vehicles. A good emergency kit takes into account size and effectiveness. You do not have to spend lots of money or have an enormous kit for it to be effective.
Below are some helpful tips for winter preparedness:
I know it sounds basic but let’s be honest, the majority of accidents on the roads in the winter are caused by following the car ahead of you too closely and driving too fast. The icy, snow covered roads do not allow as much leniency and as a result accidents are caused. Winter tires make a big difference but simply having winter tires does not allow drivers to speed and drive erratically.
Now the last thing you want is get stranded because you forgot to check the gas tank. Make sure that if you are travelling through remote areas that you have plenty of gas.
Dress appropriately! How many time did you simply toss on a sweater and then go for a drive. Bring your winter coat, gloves, toque, etc, as even a quick drive in the city could result in getting stranded for up to two hours depending on the situation. A wool blanket is also great to have in the event that you are stuck for a longer period of time.
Building your own emergency kit does not have to be an overwhelming task. Just think about things you would want if you were caught unexpectedly on the side of the road for a few hours in the winter. That is what you need to keep in your vehicle. Having an emergency kit is especially important to have fully stocked when travelling.
Food – Granola bars, energy bars, or even emergency rations
Water – Before leaving the house bring a bottle of water or juice so that you have something to drink
Blanket – A wool blanket; just pop over to the local thrift store and pick up a blanket for your car. Or a compact emergency foil blanket works great for holding in heat and sheltering from the cold.
Winter Clothing – Gloves, toque, socks, etc.
First Aid Kit – A small first aid kit designed for 1-4 people with a mix of bandages, dressings, and a splint.
Whistle – In case you need to attract attention. Multi-function whistles are great also as they usually provide a compass and flashlight all in one compact item.
Crank Flashlight – In the event that you need are stuck in the dark
*Sand, salt or cat litter – Used to provide traction if stuck
*Antifreeze washer fluid – Nothing is worse in the winter when you can’t see out your windshield.
*Jumper cables – Battery problems occur more often in the cold, having jumper cables can make it easier for you to get a boost.