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What to Include in an Emergency Roadside Kit

What should be in my car's emergency kit?

It’s a worst-case scenario for any driver – you’re stranded on a deserted road with no immediate help in sight. The situation worsens if it’s in the middle of winter. Things can quickly become dangerous if you’re not prepared. Every driver should have an emergency roadside kit in their vehicle so they’re always ready for car breakdowns or bad weather.

Emergency roadside kit checklist:

  • Jumper cables
  • Folding shovel
  • Tire puncture seal/inflator
  • Ice scraper
  • Blankets (a reflective “survival” blanket is even better)
  • Winter hat and gloves
  • Candle in a deep can and matches
  • First-aid kit
  • Flashlights (one with a red/orange emergency cone attachment if possible) and extra batteries
  • Whistle
  • Roll of paper towels
  • Roll of duct tape
  • Pen and paper
  • Granola, energy bars or a few non-perishable food items
  • Dry sand and/or kitty litter
  • Road flares or warning light
  • Bottled water
  • Road map
  • Fire extinguisher
  • A reliable container that will store these items and keep them dry
  • Fully charged cellphone
  • Phone charger

Bonus items for your emergency kit:

  • Spray bottle with washer fluid
  • Tire pressure gauge
  • Two quarts of oil
  • Antifreeze
  • Extra fuses
  • Assorted tools
  • Disposable camera (to record an accident for insurance purposes)
  • An extra $20 (small bills and change is always good to have)
  • Hand or feet warmers
  • Tow rope

If you don’t want to build your own, there are many pre-packed emergency kits available for purchase at retailers like Home Depot or Canadian Tire. If you decide to go with one of these kits, check it over and see if there are any additional items you can add to tailor the kit to your needs. Make a note to review the kit twice a year to check that all these items are still in the kit and to replace any expired products.