Most Canadians do not have an emergency kit in their vehicle; if they do, chances are they’ve never actually opened it to see what’s inside. The reality is, people don’t think they need an emergency kit until they’re in an emergency and at that point, it’s too late. An emergency kit can keep you safe/comfortable in case of a breakdown or if you’re forced to pull over for an extended period due to harsh weather conditions. Whether you buy a pre-arranged emergency kit or put one together yourself, we’ll give you a list of 10 items you should have in your emergency kit. We’re going to break up these items into two lists, one for car-related tools/items and one for personal safety items.
5 Car Related Items
- Basic Tools. Having a basic set of tools in your emergency kit can really come in handy. Having a set of pliers, a screwdriver, a hammer and a multi-tool can sometimes be enough to stop you from having to call for a road assistance provider. In the spirit of The New Red Green Show, a roll of duct tape can never hurt to have in there as well to temporarily patch things up.
- Booster Cables. Most of us have been in a situation where either we or someone close to us needed a battery boost. If you’re unlucky enough that nobody has booster cables to get your car back on the road, you know it’s a bad feeling. This is why adding booster cables to your emergency kit is so important, it keeps you covered and allows you to help other people in need.
- Tire Change Tools. While many vehicles come with all the necessary tools needed to change your tire, be sure to check because your vehicle may not have one! If you don’t have a tire changing kit, go pick up a floor jack, spare tire and the necessary tools to change the tire.
- Flashlight. Having a good flashlight can make your life a whole lot easier if you’re ever having car troubles at night. Good luck trying to change a tire, boost a battery or observe any car problems in pitch black. Having spare batteries for the flashlight is also a good thing to have.
- Flares. While it may seem a little extreme to carry flares in your vehicle emergency kit, if the situation ever arises where you need them, you’ll be glad you have them. They can be very helpful if you’re deep in an area you’re not familiar with and are seeking help.
5 Personal Safety Items
- First Aid Kit. It should come as no surprise that the first item on our list is a first aid kit. Having the necessary supplies to treat injuries until medical professionals arrive is extremely important. They are fairly inexpensive and they don’t take up a lot of room. If there was only one single thing you could have on this entire list, it should be a first aid kit.
- Battery Pack. If you’re stranded in a remote location, you’re going to need to have a phone to connect with either a roadside assistance company or a close friend/family member. Because getting in contact with either is entirely dependent on your cellphone, you should always carry a battery pack in case your phone dies.
- Bottled Water and Food. It’s always smart to have bottled water and snacks in case you get stranded for a few hours. If it’s a super hot day in the middle of July and your car is broken down, you’re going to want to stay hydrated. For food, having non-perishable items like nuts and dried fruit are great options that will last.
- Fire Extinguisher. While this may seem like an extreme safety item to keep in your car, it’s something that every vehicle should have. Having a fire extinguisher handy could save you and people around you from serious injuries due to fire and potential explosions. They don’t take a lot of room and they’re not overly expensive, do yourself a favour and add one to your vehicle kit.
- Warm Clothing or a Blanket. If you ever get caught out on the road during a snow storm or have a breakdown in the middle of winter, you’re going to either wish you had a blanket or be so relieved to have had the foresight to keep a blanket handy. Having a spare blanket or hoodie and sweats takes up hardly any space and can be easily stowed away in your trunk. Don’t put yourself in a situation where you’re freezing cold on the side of the road wishing you had just had a blanket packed in your car.