Last weekend I was out getting groceries like I usually do on Saturday mornings. I put my groceries in the back of my vehicle and then tried to shut the door. It wouldn’t close. I looked closer and discovered that there was a huge chunk of ice stopping it from shutting. It was freezing cold and I wasn’t dressed for the weather (silly me). I chipped at the ice with my ice scraper and took breaks every few minutes to warm my hands in the car. For a minute, I thought I would be stuck in the parking lot because I couldn’t drive home with the back door wide open like that. Luckily I was able to chip it all away and shut the door. It got me thinking though. Am I prepared for an emergency on the road? Though this wasn’t an emergency because I was at the mall and family members only a phone call away, it would have been bad if I’d be stuck in the middle of nowhere with a vehicle I couldn’t drive.
I always remember how lucky we were on a drive to the Halifax airport a couple years ago. The roads were horrible! I breathed a huge sigh of relief when we finally made it there. Check out this clip of the drive….
John had a similar, but much worse experience a couple years ago. He was driving from Nova Scotia to New Brunswick to visit his mom and his truck broke down on the side of the highway. He didn’t have a cell phone with him so he had to flag someone down to drive him to the next town over. He called me from Tim Horton’s and asked me to come get him….in freezing rain. I despise winter driving and was a nervous Nellie the whole hour and a half drive there.
We had to leave his truck on the highway and call for a tow truck. He also wasn’t prepared for an road emergency either. We may not be able to entirely prevent emergencies from happening, but it is in our control to prepare for one as best we can. So that is my mission – get everything together that I need for a Vehicle Emergency Kit!
I’ve shared before about how to make a home emergency kit. Today I want to talk about preparing a vehicle emergency kit and what you need to buy. Don’t get caught off guard and some of these items could someday save your life!
1. Food. Non perishable food items like energy bars or protein bars. I personally like LARABAR.
2. Cell phone. Never leave home without it fully charged if you are planning any kind of travel. Also keep a power cord in your vehicle so you can charge it through the lighter adapter.
3. Bottles of water. Keep a case of bottled water in the trunk of your car. If you’re ever stranded somewhere you will need water to survive.
4. Blanket. A thick, warm blanket will keep you somewhat comfortable if you ever have to spend a cold night in your car.
5. First aid kit. This one is pretty obvious. If you already have one, make sure it’s stocked full with fresh supplies.
6. Seat belt cutter. Don’t get trapped in your vehicle. It also includes a window breaking hammer which is necessity if you can’t open your windows. Those electric windows scare me because if the car dies how do you open them?
7. Foam tire sealant. I have no clue about how to change a flat tire. I wouldn’t even know where to start. This product seals punctures so you can get to a garage and have the professionals install a new tire.
8. Shovel. If your car slides into a ditch or gets stuck in some snow, a shovel will come in handy to help you get out.
9. Ice scraper and brush. The ice scraper helped me last weekend when I was stuck at the grocery store. It’s always in my car – even in the summer!
10. Waterproof flashlight with extra batteries. You’ll wish you had this if you ever break down at night!
11. A roll or toilet paper. When you gotta go, you gotta go! This is a must for a road trip especially driving in the middle of nowhere.
12. Road map. Don’t get lost! I don’t fully trust the GPS and prefer an old-fashioned road map when I’m travelling. You’ll be able to use your map to see where you are and where you need to go with the help of your flashlight.
13. Cat litter. It has another purpose other than to hold your cat’s waste. Sprinkle some cat litter around your tires if you ever get stuck. It provides traction for your wheels.
14. Windshield washer fluid. I always make sure I have an extra bottle in the trunk. I ran out one time on a very slushy drive to Ottawa. I actually had to pull over on the side of the highway and clean my windshield off with snow and my bare hands. Not my finest moment ever….
15. Tow strap. Without a tow truck close by, your only option may be another vehicle helping to tow your car out of a ditch (or wherever you are stuck).
16. Jumper cables. I already had a pair of these in my trunk. John’s truck is notorious for not starting. We’ve had to jump his truck a number of times already just in the driveway!
17. Distress flag. Make yourself visible for rescuers with a bright distress flag.
18. Fire extinguisher. Pick up a fire extinguisher that can be used on oil, grease, gasoline and electrical fires.
Getting together a Vehicle Emergency Kit is a priority for me. Hopefully I’ll never need it, but it gives me some peace of mind knowing it’s there just in case.
What’s in your Vehicle Emergency Kit?