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Winter brings two converging inevitabilities on Victoria natives. One is that it is the height of travel season as we all go to see our friends and family scattered across the country. The second is that the vast majority of road accidents and emergencies occur when the weather is at its most harsh and conditions on the road are extreme. The start of December is a perfect time to sort out your Emergency Car Kit; This collection of useful first aid, tools, water, and other essentials will be your secret weapon against anything that the winter roads can throw your way. Below we outline 5 very simple things you could grab from around your house or the hardware store to get you most of the way there in just a few minutes. Below that, you will find a link to the Emergency Bundle made by the Canadian Red Cross. They have assembled a huge collection of everything you could possibily need to get through a vehicle emergency and is definitely worth a look.
Five Must Haves
- Bottled water. In plastic bottles that won’t break when frozen, to be changed out every 6 months or so.
- Charged cell phone. Although this item will probably be on your person, it may make the difference between getting help fast and maybe not getting help at all. Make sure it is properly charged every time you get into your car.
- First-aid kit. As well as an assortment of Band-Aids, it should include adhesive tape, gauze pads, aspirin, antiseptic wipes, antiseptic cream or ointment, and anything particular to you or your family.
- Fire Extinguisher. It should be rated for Class B and Class C fires by the NFPA. The NFPA says Class B fires are those that involve flammable or combustible liquids, such as gasoline, diesel fuel and kerosene. Class C fires involve energized electrical equipment such as switches, panel boxes and batteries.
- Three reflective warning triangles. While many prepackaged emergency kits contain one warning triangle, we suggest you have three that are placed 50 feet apart to warn oncoming traffic.
The Red Cross Emergency Bundle
Find One HERE
This bundle is fully equipped with a Disaster Preparedness Kit which will help keep you safe with various important items such as a box of waterproof matches and a 50-hour candle. The emergency blanket will help keep you warm and an SOS sign is included as well as a whistle in case you get stranded. There’s a 20 liter water container with water purification tablets to stay hydrated and for harsh conditions the kit also includes 2 dust masks, a pair of leather palm gloves, a roll of duct tape, as well as 2 biohazard bags.
For first aid needs there is a fully loaded first aid kit as well as an Auto First Aid Kit which includes various medical gear such as the basics of bandages and gauze pads all the way to seat belt cutter and a hot compress. There are also tools within the cases including scissors and tweezers. Finally, to help keep things sterile there are hand-cleansing towelettes.
To top off your list of emergency tools this bundle includes a multi-function knife and a Black-Out Buddy LED flashlight to help guide your way to safety. With all this neatly holding together within durable nylon bags you and your family will always be prepared.