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How to Build Your Own Car Emergency Kit

We often are prepared for emergencies that happen while we are at home. Be prepared for 72 hours is a message that is preached, but what about being prepared in your car?
2-1 DIY Build Your Own Emergency Kit
How to Build Your Own Car Emergency Kit

What happens when bad things happen when driving from point A to point B? Being in a vehicle means that you need to have three types of emergency kits.

What to include in the large emergency bag

Often a duffel bag (often referred to as a bug out bag) has things packed in it that can be taken out and used as needed. Pack it so that if you need to walk you can carry this bag with you.

  • Food: Most people think of packing food in their kit as the most important, however a healthy person can last over a week without food. In your kit find room for protein bars or other forms of protein such as nuts. Say away from high sugar foods.
  • Water: Living in the north, this can be difficult at times as water freezes in the winter months. There are some small tricks that may help such as using whiskey rocks or a clean ping pong ball so the water can’t freeze over. Ensure the container is a wide mouth container. Store your water container in an insulated area if possible. Juice boxes can be eaten for liquid when frozen. Avoid taking alcohol; although it may not freeze there are many other dangers related to this.
  • Warm clothes: Pack an extra jacket, hoodie and vest. Because the weather changes so rapidly it is important to ensure that you have enough heat but also the right layers to prevent freezing to death or overheating. Other clothing should include beanie, mittens and wool socks. If you have room include a moisture wicking shirt and pants. If you are not already wearing appropriate footwear for the weather, toss boots or sneakers into the bag. In the summer you may want to switch a jacket out for rain gear.
  • Flashlight: purchase a crank flashlight with a flashing beacon.
  • A leatherman tool and a small normal tool kit.
  • Duct tape (if you can’t fix it, duct it)
  • Portable battery charger for your phone.

In your trunk:

In your glovebox:

  • Vehicle break out tool (to cut seatbelts and break glass)
  • Tire inflator (canister)
  • Paper and pen (avoid felt tip as they may freeze in the cold)
  • Road map
  • Paper towels or napkins

There are many reasons you may need your car emergency kit and most of them are out of your control. We all think about sliding off the road in a winter storm, or natural disasters but there are times when it may happen closer to home. If there is an emergency in your neighbourhood and you can’t get home, if you hit wildlife and your car is not drivable, if a tire explodes or your car breaks down when it’s cold and dark – the wait for help could be hours.  You need to be prepared.

CPC-logoThis story was made possible by our Community Partners Program. Thank you Davis Chevrolet for helping to expand local news coverage in Alberta. Learn more.
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