Winter is Coming…

by Brad Bradish, Manager, Injury Risk Management for SRG

The seasons of change are blowing in southern Ontario, and it’s starting to become everyone’s favourite season – Winter. The short, cold days are upon us, and it will only be a matter of time before snow and ice are here to stay. It’s the perfect time to ensure your car is ready for winter, and you are too.

The Canadian government has produced a winter car emergency kit checklist.

A basic car kit should contain the following:

  • Food that won’t spoil, such as energy bars
  • Water—plastic bottles that won’t break if the water freezes (replace them every six months)
  • Blanket
  • Extra clothing and shoes or boots
  • First aid kit with seatbelt cutter
  • Small shovel, scraper and snowbrush
  • Candle in a deep can and matches
  • Wind-up flashlight
  • Whistle – in case you need to attract attention
  • Road maps
  • Copy of your emergency plan

It also recommends items that should be stored in your trunk for winter:

  • Sand, salt or cat litter (non-clumping)
  • Antifreeze and windshield washer fluid
  • Tow rope
  • Jumper cables
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Warning light or road flares

Other advice includes simple things such as ensuring your footwear has good treads and clearing snow and ice from walkways as soon as possible.

Reviewing this list, it can sometimes seem like over-preparation. However, remember that even if you are not personally involved in a winter incident, it doesn’t mean you won’t be impacted by it, especially when driving distances on the 400 series of highways. Speaking from personal experience, I was recently stuck in a traffic jam on the highway for almost 1.5 hours, less than 1 km from my exit. I was completely unprepared for the delay and almost ran out of gas. Luckily I was able to turn my car on and off for periods of time. It was certainly an eye-opener as to how unprepared I really was for an emergency. So be prepared and ready to deal with any cold weather event, as winter is coming.


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