Your winter driving emergency kit

By: Health Local Staff Jan 13, 2012
winter driving emergency kit

Driving in the Canadian winter can be dangerous. Make sure you are prepared for an emergency!

Driving in the winter can bring about problems that don’t have to be faced in other seasons. Snow not only makes it more difficult to drive; it also makes it a lot easier to get stranded. Anyone who drives should always be prepared for an emergency in winter weather. There is no telling when it may be necessary.

For this reason, drivers should equip their vehicles with an “emergency survival kit”. This kit should include all of the things that may be needed in the event they get stuck in a less than ideal situation. Creating a kit is easy and the things needed to ensure that it is sufficient are relatively sensible. Here is a list of things that you should include when preparing an emergency kit for your vehicle:

Flashlight and batteries: Although there are flashlights that don’t need batteries, it’s ideal to have one that does. This will ensure that your flashlight doesn’t run out of energy when you need it most. It’s also wise to have an ample supply of batteries to fall back on.

Lighters and candles: Most people keep matches in their kit, which is fine. Yet, matches run the risk of getting wet. This problem is decreased by using lighters and of course there should be more than one in the kit. Candles should be in a container. Pillar candles or votive candles are a great recommendation. Not only will they provide light but they can be a source of heat as well. This way you can sit with the car turned off.

Extra clothing, blankets and warmers: There is a chance that your clothes may get wet and with the car off, you may begin to get cold if you are out for a long period of time. Extra clothing should also include hats, gloves, socks and scarves. Keeping blankets in the kit will aid in staying warm. It would also be wise to purchase packages of hand and feet warmers. The small bags produce heat when the instructions are followed carefully. They can be placed in your shoes or gloves.

Jumper cables: Every driver should have a set of jumper cables at the ready. This accessory can make all of the difference when it comes to getting stuck.

Local maps: Getting stranded outside of an area that you’re familiar with can be nerve wrecking. Keeping local maps in the car can aid in guiding you to the closest possible location to get help.

Tool kit: Having a tool kit on hand is also a great idea. The kit should include a screwdriver with various interchangeable heads, different sized wrenches, pliers and other basic hand tools.

Food and water: Unless you want to drink melted snow, as soon as it starts to get cold, a case of water should be placed in the trunk of the car. There is good chance that you’ll forget it’s there but in most emergencies, the first thing a person does is pop the trunk to get out a tool. You’ll be glad that you did it. You should also stock the car with sensible food items that will last awhile before going stale. Energy bars, nutritional supplement drinks and nuts are ideal for this purpose.

First aid kit: A first aid kit isn’t something that everyone should only have in their homes; there should be one in their vehicles too. In the event there is an injury, this kit will be able to aid in providing immediate care. It’s better to purchase a complete first aid kit as it will already contain all of the necessities.

There are a few other things that drivers should try to have on hand when traveling. A cell phone charger that can be used in the car would be a great investment. Even better, there are cell phone chargers available that don’t need to be plugged in. Road flares, a spare tire and tire chains are all great things to include in an “emergency survival kit”.

In conclusion, driving in bad weather conditions is scary enough. Ease some of those anxieties by knowing that you have everything you need within reach in case of emergencies. Take the time to make a list that suits the needs of your family. Thinking ahead may be what gets you through a difficult moment.

The Health Local Staff is a team of writers and experts dedicated to bringing you the latest health, nutrition and lifestyle information at