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Thursday, 19 January 2012

A Quick and Easy Winter Weather Emergency Kit

As Alberta temperatures slide to record lows, it's more important than ever to put together a winter emergency car kit. Getting into a cold car in the morning is treacherous enough -- imagine if you were stuck in a freezing car for hours on end! The reality is that this can happen and has happened, and you need to be prepared for this possibility.

As busy individuals, it's difficult to find the time to research and compile all the necessary items for your car, so we've compiled a quick and simple check list of items that you can scrounge from at home or at the mall.

  • Lots of thick blankets. You can store them in your trunk to free up room in the car. 
  • Some warm extra clothes. Throw some old clothes that you don't want to wear anymore into the trunk of the car. They will come in handy if you find yourself stuck. 
  • Food and water. Have a box of granola bars or trail mix in the car, and a few plastic bottles of water. It's important that the bottles of water be plastic, since plastic will not break when it freezes. 
  • Candle, tin can and a small metal dish. Pick up a few candles from the store and take the top off of a tin can so you'll have a container for the candle. A small metal dish will be useful for melting your water! The candles will also provide a source of heat when you're stuck freezing in your car! 
  • Waterproof matches. Naturally, to light your candle you're going to need a box of matches. 
  • Wind-up flashlight. If you happen to be stranded at night, a flashlight will be essential for getting yourself unstuck or for just seeing around your car's interior. 
  • Whistle. If you're stuck, you're going to want to be able to attract attention to yourself. 
  • First-aid kit. In the event that you get injured, a first-aid kit could be the difference between life and death. 
  • Road salt and cat litter. Road salt can help melt away snow blocks that are stopping your car from moving forward, and cat little can give you some added traction in icy conditions. Pour some in front of your tires and it may help the situation. 
  • Pre-charged cell phone. Keep a fully charged cell phone in the car (but don't forget a car charger too) to make emergency calls. To make things simple, get a pre-paid plan with minutes on it so you don't have to deal with an expensive phone contract. 
  • Warning flares. You should be able to pick these up at a Canadian Tire or Home Depot. They will help you get spotted in the event that you get stuck. 

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