A Vehicle Safety Kit for Winter
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Few of us have emergency kits in our vehicles, which is interesting when thinking of how much other trash we transport in the boot. If you do not want to be caught unprepared in a storm or accident this winter, pack a vehicle safety kit. It should contain the following:
- Avoid running out of fuel. Plan your route, keep the tank full or pack extra if you might run out in a rural area. It is overzealous in the summer, but the cold might get you and your family killed during winter.
- If you do not drive outside the city, you do not have to stock up on a week's food and water. Energy bars, crackers and dried fruit will be sufficient to keep you full and combat the stress of being stuck. If you drive in rural areas, include canned food and a food opener. Buy a new supply every week or two and move the old supply into your house for consumption.
- Include a small cooler with a few water bottles. You can use the water every day, but just remember to fill it up again.
- Pack an extra coat or jacket, thick socks and mittens. Rural drivers can include blankets, if there is space.
- You need to be able to call for help. Pack a portable cellphone charger to charge your phone from the car battery. A LED emergency beacon is essential for rural drivers since cellphone signals are not available everywhere.
- Put a bag of sand in your car to pore around the wheels if you get stuck in snow. A shovel is handy to dig the wheels out. A chain or tow rope can be invaluable if any good Samaritans can help you out. Tire chains, an ice scraper and jumper cables are also useful.
- On long trips, antifreeze and windshield washer fluid can help to prevent the heating system from freezing and to keep the windscreen clear.
- Basic tools can help with a variety of tasks, even if you are not stuck in winter snow. Wrenches, pliers and screw drivers are the best of these.
- A first-aid kit is essential. It should contain the family's prescription medicines for a few days, bandages and adhesives, sterile dressings, burn dressing, cotton swabs, tweezers, a syringe, a thermometer, a painkiller, an anti-inflammatory, an antiseptic ointment and saline. Include anything else that you think might be useful.
Adjust the kit for specific trips and replace older items as necessary.