In case of an unexpected situation, delay or weather-related incident, it is essential for drivers to have an emergency kit on hand. These kits are also referred to as bug out bags or survival packs and can be literal life-savers. It’s especially important to make sure you have one of these kits during the cold winter months when there are many hazards on the road.
Here are some tips for packing an emergency kit to keep you safe and warm in any situation!
- Pack an extra pair of warm socks, a toque and waterproof gloves to keep your hands from freezing in the cold. During the winter, it’s a good idea to keep a full set of cold-weather clothing in your kit.
- Ensure you have a supply of non-perishable food items such as granola bars, nuts and dried fruit.
- Keep several liters of bottled water on hand in case of emergency.
- Invest in a subzero sleeping bag or store some extra warm blankets in your truck.
- If you take medication, ensure you keep an extra bottle on hand and check expiration dates regularly.
- Always keep a fully stocked first aid kit on hand.
- Pack a basic tool kit with screwdrivers, pliers, a box knife, a few wrenches, duct tape, extra fuses and spare bulbs for headlights and marker lights.
- Jumper cables are a must for every driver.
- Pack a flashlight and spare batteries.
- Store a spare pair of eyeglasses or contact lenses, if you have a prescription, and a pair of sunglasses to help with glare.
- A toothbrush, toothpaste and dental floss are nice to have on hand.
- A foldable shovel can also be of great use in the winter.
- Always keep windshield de-icer and a scraper in your truck.
- Emergency flares are essential for any kit.
- Make sure your cellphone is charged and contains your emergency contacts. If you don’t know your emergency contacts by heart, then keep a paper copy of important numbers tucked in your glovebox as well.
- Snow chains, of course.
- A small piece of tarp or similar material that you can lie down on when installing chains.
- A sturdy backpack to keep all your essential items in.
Safety is all about being prepared. Always check that you have these essential items stocked before hitting the road. In case of emergency, you will be glad that you did!
If you are a Northwest driver, please visit our Driver Portal for more information on road safety.