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Emergency car kits

You might say that Marilyn Cassel is a grown-up girl scout, prepared for almost anything when she gets behind the wheel of her car. And since she loves to drive, cruising far and wide on city and country roads, that's a good thing.

What does she have stored in her trunk for emergencies?

"What I have is probably too much so the easier question is what has come in handy," says the Toronto resident. Here's her list:

  • Collapsible metal shovel for use when stuck in snow or to chop ice
  • Flashlight with batteries that recharge when you shake it
  • Rope to tie the trunk down when moving stuff
  • Bungee cords for the trunk if the rope's not working
  • Candle and matches in a water-tight container
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This is only a start. She also has a sign that says 'Call Police', a cellphone, extra warm clothing, rubber boots, a compass, newspaper, a first aid kit, a tarp and a thermal blanket.

Most drivers need more room in their car for such everyday items as groceries, but emergency car kits are important.

City drivers included
"Even when driving in the city, you need to be prepared for emergencies beyond just having roadside assistance," says Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) spokesperson Silvana Aceto. "In the event of a major storm it can take some time before assistance arrives so there are some basic items you need to carry with you," she says.

Items she recommends include extra window washer fluid, a flashlight, a fully charged cellphone and a first aid kit with basics such as bandages and disinfectant.

"A container with kitty litter or sand can help if you're stuck on ice," adds Aceto.

If you're venturing on a trip farther afield, it's a good idea to tell someone the route you plan to take.

(continued on next page)
-- Posted December 19, 2012
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