We’ve had a run on weather of late.
From snow, to freezing rain, thick fog then back up to 7 degrees celsius.

My jeep has been in 4 wheel drive more this past December/January than all of last winter combined.
To top it off, we’re do for another snow dumping later this week.

None of this is unusual for my part of the country – but what is unusual are instances where people get trapped in their cars.

Maybe their car slid into a ditch and they’re stuck waiting for emergency help, maybe they have a flat, maybe they’ve stopped until white-out conditions clear, maybe they are just waiting for a tow in stockton or somewhere far away from their home… the problem is the same regardless of the situation; your car is stuck and conditions are as such that you can’t get out and get to safety.

photo courtesy of The Windsor Star

Or in the case of one Leamington man, the snow came down so heavy and fast that emergency crews couldn’t even find his car and he was stuck for a few days inside his vehicle.

photo courtesy of The Windsor Star

So today’s DIY is a “Vehicle emergency preparedness kit”.

Not to be confused with a “Roadside emergency kit”.

The difference?

The roadside emergency kit should be used in conjunction with the VEPK. It contains jumper cables, flares, hazard signs etc.
Kits like these can usually be purchased at your local hardware store already packaged up for you.

A Vehicle Emergency Preparedness Kit contains items for you and your family to keep you safe and warm in case you get stuck in your car for a period of time.

  • Food (non-perishable) such as energy bars
  • Water in plastic bottles so they won’t break (change every 6 months)
  • Small shovel and ice scraper
  • Blanket or sleeping bag for warmth
  • First Aid kit with a seatbelt cutter
  • Extra clothing and shoes
  • Whistle – in case you need to attract attention
  • Candle in a deep can, along with matches
  • Crank or battery operated flashlight with extra batteries
  • Road maps – in case you have to pinpoint your location for emergency crews
  • Work gloves
  • Sand, salt or (non-clumping) kitty litter
  • Antifreeze / Winshield washer fluid

List courtesy of Government of Canada “Get Prepared” in combination with the Canadian Red Cross.
photo courtesy of “Ready Wisconsin”

I will admit that my VEPK is missing a few things – which I plan on rectifying asap – but for now here’s what I keep stocked:

Again, this is just the kit that will help your family in the event you’re stuck in your car – this is not the roadside assistance kit with the flares etc. Particularly in winter, it’s probably a good idea to check out some roadside assistance plans in case you do happen to need some assistance whilst on the road.

All of the above, except the sleeping bag, packages up nicely into this little Tupperware container that keeps it all dry and protected, and is easy to carry around.

I wanted to show it next to my hand so that you get an idea of how little space it takes up.

I put the VEPK, sleeping bag and Roadside Emergency Kit all in one tote.

There’s still room in the top for me to put the windshield fluid and a small bag of sand or kitty litter in there as well.
I just need to find a small (foldable?) shovel.

My scraper-brush combo never leaves the car, so it’s in the back seat as I type.

You may never need it – but isn’t it better to have one just-in-case?

Have a great one!

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Between Naps on the Porch