As we find ourselves deep into the worst part of winter, you might have already caught yourself in some less-than-ideal situations in which you wished you had a winter emergency kit handy. While it might sound dramatic, if you've been here, you know that having a winter truck survival kit could mean the difference between life and death. Imagine getting stuck in a snowbank or slipping off of an icy road with an out-of-service cell phone in the middle of the boonies. Whether you’re driving a pickup truck or a commercial long-haul truck, it pays to be ready just in case something should go wrong. To make sure you make it home safe and sound this winter, here are some essential items you’ll want to keep in your pickup in case of an emergency.
- Portable cellphone charger. In the event of an emergency, your instinct will be to call for help, which will be pretty hard to do if your phone goes dead. Not to mention, every Canadian knows by now that sub-zero temperatures will make your cellphone's battery-less efficient. Having a portable charger handy (and fully charged, duh) will be able to give your phone just enough juice to send assistance. It's also helpful should your truck's battery go dead as well.
- Road flares or signals. So, your phone's swimming in ice and, at this point, rendered useless. If you are out in the middle of nowhere and there is no sign of any traffic coming your way, or the snow is creating visibility problems, then road flares can be a great signal. Try to go for those made to show up in the harshest weather conditions.
- Portable jump starter. Long gone are the days when your only hope of starting a car with a dead battery is finding another running vehicle. Today, you can simply grab your portable jumper, clip it to your battery terminals, and fire up your car. This one will not only jumpstart your car’s dead battery, but it also charges cell phones with two USB ports and has a built-in flashlight!
- Flashlight or headlamp. Changing a flat tire in the middle of a blizzard is hardly a tea party. And if it's after 4 pm, you'll definitely want to have a flashlight on you. We recommend going for something rechargeable so that you can keep it juiced up by plugging it into your truck occasionally.
- Water and snacks. You never know how long it's going to take for help to arrive. In order to keep your body temperature from dropping too far, it’s essential that you keep hydrated. And while we can go up to three weeks without food, high-calorie, non-perishable snacks will also help you stay warm in the cold.
- Firestarter kit. Starting a fire is one of the most essential and invaluable camping or survival skills. Newspaper and matches are a simple, time-tested method. But roughing it out in the cold as you wait to be rescued will be a lot easier with a fire starter kit.
In an emergency situation, in addition to a full tank of gas, we also recommend having these with you at all times:
- First-aid kit (band-aids, adhesive tape, antiseptic wipes, gauze pads, antiseptic cream, medical wrap)
- Ice scraper and snow brush
- Utility knife
- Windshield cleaner
- Blankets, mittens, socks, and hats
- A bag of sand to help with traction
- Hand warmers (great for your shoes too!)
Arrive Alive with Toyota
To make it home safely to your loved ones this winter, it’s always a good idea to be prepared. Additionally, thanks to Toyota Safety Connect, through Toyota Connective Services, you have 24/7 access to Toyota's help centre. If the airbags on your Tundra, Tacoma, or any other Toyota vehicle are deployed, emergency services will be contacted immediately. Have peace of mind knowing Prince George Toyota is here to help!