How to put together an Emergency Car Kit

Turkey supper.

An emergency car kit is something that’s important to have in your car all the time, especially in the winter. I recently went to a turkey supper for a local high school band to raise funds to send them on a tour of Great Britain. At the silent auction my bid on an emergency car kit was highest so I got to take it home (and put it in my car!).

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Emergency car kit duffle bag.

Here’s what’s in it, all packed into a cute little duffle:
• booster cables
• florescent orange cone
• flashlight and batteries
• candles and matches (candles can produce enough heat inside a car to keep you from freezing)
• a cloth
• gloves
• handy wipes
• bandaids
• some plastic ties
• rain poncho
• florescent orange safety vest
• emergency blanket
• a “call police” sign to put in the car window

My own personal of winter road kit also includes:
• sleeping bag
• emergency flashing beacon light
• extra boots, mits, hats, scarves
• snacks like high energy bars
• bottled water

Contents of an emergency car kit.

It’s a good idea to have a shovel in your trunk too and before you set out into a wintry night make sure your gas tank is full and your cell phone battery is charged.

Here’s a story about the first time I realized the folly of not having one.

It was my first winter here, 2002, and I hadn’t moved in yet but was traveling up on Friday nights after work in Toronto to spend the weekends. It was early evening, a blustery night in the deep of winter when I arrived at the turn off the highway onto the sideroad leading toward my house. I’d been driving for over two hours in a snowstorm that worsened the further north I got. Continue reading How to put together an Emergency Car Kit