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How to prepare an emergency roadside kit for winter

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Winter travelling has got harder each year as the weather continues to become more unpredictable and volatile.  Snow storms reduce visibility and icy roads make travelling a nightmare. It's important to always be prepared in the event of a car accident or being stranded due to bad weather. That’s why you should always have an emergency roadside care kit available.

Winter travelling has got harder each year as the weather continues to become more unpredictable and volatile.  Snow storms reduce visibility and icy roads make travelling a nightmare. It's important to always be prepared in the event of a car accident or being stranded due to bad weather. That’s why you should always have an emergency roadside care kit available.

 Step 1 – Store everything together

Keep all your kit together in the same bag that can fit into the car boot or on the back seats.  In the event of an emergency this will allow you to act quicker and not lose items that may be essential.

Step 2 – Make sure you have a first aid kit

A first aid kit is a fundamental element of a roadside care kit. If you haven’t got one, you can purchase a ready-made first aid kit, or you could assemble your own.  Make sure it includes bandages, gauze, tape, antiseptic solution, ibuprofen, butterfly closures, alcohol, burn ointment, tweezers, scissors, and vinyl or latex gloves.

Step 3 – Have a tool kit at hand

Most cars have a mini tool kit for changing a wheel but that is all.  You may need more items such as screwdrivers, vice grip, jump cables and a wrench to carry out emergency repairs.  It may also be useful to keep a small knife with your tool kit for cutting cable, bandages, or duct tape.

Step 4 – Clothes

Staying warm is fundamental in an emergency situation, as in winter conditions hypothermia or even frost bite can happen quickly.  Pack extra gloves and socks in case you get wet whilst carrying out repairs, and if room allows an extra set of clothes.  Blankets are also essential, but a mylar blanket, whilst expensive, is the best for emergency situations as it works with your body to regulate the temperature.

Step 5 – Light

It is essential to see as you could be stranded well into the night, and a torch could also be used for signalling to passing cars.  Make sure you pack extra batteries, but it is also useful to have matches at hand as an extra precaution.

Step 6 – Food

Packing non-perishable food and bottled water in your kit is a great idea as you could be stranded for a long period of time, and in cold conditions your body has to use twice as much energy.  If you have matches and a candle you can melt ice for drinking water.

Step 7 – Car essentials

Packing essentials such as flares and a reflective hazard triangle will alert passing motorists to your presence, but also taking items such as anti-freeze and a snow shovel could help you out if your car needs to be dug out of a ditch.

By Ben Malkin

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