Articles for Non-Lawyers

Preparing after a Winter Road Emergency

How to Prepare for a Winter Road Emergency by Patricia Santucci

Are YOU ready for a Winter Road Emergency?

They say that “climate is what we expect, weather is what we get”. Well, it sure seems like “weather” is what we have been getting lately – especially severe weather.

You will recall last year’s “polar vortex” that seemed to last forever. And last month our US neighbours suffered through a storm, which left snowfall of up to seven feet in some areas. Would you be prepared if something like that happened here? What if you were stranded in your vehicle?

In order to be prepared for extreme weather events, you should keep your car well stocked in case of an emergency. I recently came across some very helpful information on a Canadian Federal Government website regarding emergency car kits. According to this website, your basic car emergency kit should contain the following:

  • Food that won’t spoil, such as energy bars (and a can opener if any of the food is canned)
  • 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 snow brush
  • Candle in a deep can and matches
  • Wind up (hand crank) flashlight
  • Whistle—in case you need to attract attention
  • Roadmaps
  • Copy of your emergency plan

It is also recommended that you keep the following items in your trunk:

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

It’s also a good idea to have a charged cell phone in your car for emergencies (but don’t use it while driving!). Make sure your phone is updated with all of the contacts that you would need to reach in an emergency situation.

An emergency kit for your car is something that you can purchase, or you can make your own from supplies that you probably already have around your house. Either way, be sure not to procrastinate. Get your kit assembled and get it into your vehicle, now so that you and your family will be prepared in case of a road emergency during this Canadian winter. Hopefully you won’t need to use it, but if last year is any indication, we should be ready for anything this winter.

All of us here at Santucci law would like to wish you and your family a very Happy Holiday Season and a Happy New Year.

About the Author Patricia Santucci

Patricia Santucci is a personal injury lawyer born and raised in Hamilton, Ontario. She holds several degrees having attended King’s College at the University of Western Ontario, McMaster University, earned a Master of Arts degree at the University of Windsor and an Ontario Teaching Degree from Teacher’s College as well as her Ontario Teaching Certificate. After graduating from the University of Alberta law school she was called to the bar in 2000. You can find Patricia on and LinkedIn or directly through this website