There’s something about winter weather bringing in storms that gets us all thinking a little bit more about emergency preparedness.  Whether you’ve had your car break down on the side of the road, lost control during some black ice and found yourself in the ditch or ended up stranded thanks to Mother Nature laying down a little more than a sprinkling of snow, it’s always helpful to stock your trunk with an Emergency Kit just in case.


Here are some suggestions on what to include in your Do It Yourself Kits, as well as adds ons to help supplement premade kits available for purchase at retail providers like Amazon or Canadian Tire.

Remember to inspect your emergency kits for completeness as you use supplies, or at regular intervals, like when you check your smoke alarms or change your furnace filters, and make sure all medication is within its expiration date.

Your car roadside emergency kit should include a first aid kit, be easily accessible to adults, but out of reach for small children.

A Comprehensive Car Emergency Kit Should Include:

  • Durable storage container (like canvas bag for all your items)
  • Jumper cables
  • Flares or Reflectors (LED or regular)
  • A toolkit (should include screw drivers, pliers, adjustable wrench, pocket knife or X-Acto, tire pressure gauge)
  • A container of motor oil (more important in older cars, or if you don’t check your levels regularly)
  • A container of coolant
  • A container of brake fluid (more important in older cars, or if you don’t check your levels regularly)
  • Flat tire inflation canister (non-explosive)
  • Spare tire and jack
  • Tow Rope
  • Spare car fuses
  • Duct tape
  • Winter gear (if applicable) including: Small foldable shovel, spare gloves and hat, cat litter (for slick roads), ice scraper/snow brush
  • Tarp
  • Empty clean gas jug
  • Small amount of cash for gas or other emergencies
  • Bungee cords
  • Rain poncho(s)
  • A blanket (regular or mylar ‘space’ blanket)
  • A Flashlight & extra batteries
  • Phone charger
  • Paper Towels or Tissues
  • Car escape tool (incl. seatbelt cutter and window breaker)
  • Spray bottle with washer fluid
  • Energy bars/dehydrated food etc.  & Bottled water (To include if you have pets: dog bowl, treats, food, and poop bags, if you have babies/small children: diapers, dry formula, baby wipes, spare outfit)
  • Whistle
  • Pen & Paper
  • Deck of cards (to keep you entertained at the side of the road)
  • Car Generator (for further peace of mind!)

A Comprehensive First Aid Kit Should Include:

  • Durable Storage container (for all your items)
  • A current first aid manual
  • Listing of emergency phone numbers
  • Sterile gauze in various sizes (10 pads, five 3X3 inches wide, and five 4X4 inches wide)
  • Adhesive tape
  • Cotton balls
  • Band-Aids in various sizes (The Red Cross recommends having at least 25)
  • Tweezers
  • Two absorbent compress dressings (5X9 inches)
  • EpiPen (if applicable)
  • An elastic bandage
  • Eyewash or eyebath
  • 1 instant cold compress
  • A splint
  • Antiseptic wipe or solution such as hydrogen peroxide (at least a five pack)
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Hydrocortisone Cream (The Red Cross recommends at least 2, 1-gram ointment packages)
  • Calamine Lotion (for stings and rashes)
  • Acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and antihistamine cream or tablets (and child versions of these products if you’ll be travelling with children)
  • Antacids, laxatives, anti-diarrhea medication
  • Sharp scissors
  • Thermometer (preferably digital)
  • At least two pairs of non-latex gloves
  • Mouthpiece for giving CPR
  • Any other medication as recommended by your healthcare provider
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Aloe vera gel


Stay safe everyone!