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Preparing an emergency kit for your vehicle

Published on November 11, 2020


In Quebec, the wide range of possible road conditions means drivers need to be extra careful. In anticipation of the variety of weather conditions you can expect this time of year, make sure you have an emergency kit in your vehicle. It can be a real life-saver if you run into problems!

The L'Unique General Insurance team outlines how to put a complete emergency kit together. Combined with your auto insurance, this equipment will protect you during any season!


Use a durable backpack or sports bag. They’re easier to carry than a box, and more practical because they have pockets and compartments.

You can even buy prepared kits from places like CAA Quebec or the Red Cross. Regardless of your choice, the most important thing is to have a kit within reach!

Basic content (four seasons)

  • First-aid kit
  • Knife or scissors to cut your seatbelt if necessary
  • Jumper cables (a.k.a. booster cables)
  • Gloves
  • Rag or roll of paper towels
  • Versatile tool such as multi-use pliers or a Swiss army knife
  • Duct tape
  • Hand-crank Dynamo light or battery-powered flashlight
    Note: With the latter option, remember to change your batteries every year!
  • Emergency candles
  • Waterproof matches
  • Several bottles of water
  • Non-perishable items (e.g. energy bars, dry crackers)
  • Blanket or sleeping bag
  • High-visibility vest
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Flares and a whistle (to attract attention if necessary)
  • Towing straps

Extra gear for winter

During winter, to combat freezing rain, falling snow and other surprises the weather has in store, you need to add a few items to your kit. You can also remove a few: To avoid freezing, you can temporarily remove the water, food and first aid kit from your vehicle when it is not in use for an extended period of time.

In addition to these basic items, here’s what you need to pack for winter:

  • Shovel
  • Snow broom
  • Scraper
  • Traction strips
  • Bag of abrasive material (e.g. salt, sand, pebbles, kitty litter)

Dress warmly and, ideally, store boots and a change of clothes in the vehicle. The clothes you have on are wet or humid? Replace them in order to minimize the loss of body heat.

What to do if you run into a problem

Stuck due to road conditions, a mechanical breakdown or an accident? Here are a few extra tips:

  • If the weather conditions are unfavourable, stay in your vehicle to avoid being exposed to the humidity or cold.
  • Turn off your engine if possible. Also, beware of carbon monoxide. Ensure that the exhaust pipe is not blocked.
  • If you need more light, use your flashlight or turn on the overhead light. The latter won’t run down the car battery as quickly as headlights or emergency flashers.
  • If it’s cold, stay awake and move (hands, feet, arms…) to keep your blood flowing.

If you run into a problem, a well-stocked first aid kit can save your life...or the life of a driver in distress you may come across!

Votre courtier d’assurance est là pour vous aider en matière de prévention des sinistres. N’hésitez pas à communiquer avec lui!