I stopped to help someone the other day during a storm and I was surprised at how unprepared they were for an emergency. I figured post some ideas for anyone interested in being a bit more prepared.
Ugly bag to put everything in- I say ugly because it's less attractive to would-be theives.
Jumper Cables- better to have longer ones because you won't always be parked in a positiont hat makes getting to your battery easy.
A few bottles of water- they'll freeze in the winter of course but you can heat them up by placing them against a heater OR against your skin.
Spare Winter boots with warm socks rolled up inside- if you're stuck waiting over night or half to walk a few kilometers for help you'll appreciate warm boots instead of flimsy gym shoes.
Spare toque and wintergloves-incase you're stuck out and about for longer than you expect.
Emergency candles and a bic lighter- one candle can give enough radiant heat to warm the inside of a smaller car.
Orange panel marker (or a big orange garbage bag)- important if you go off the road and can't be seen fromt he road (story below)
Snow shovel, cpntainer of salt or sand- it's surprisingly easy to get stuck in a parking lot when you don't notice the ice under the snow. a bit of sand under your tires could give you enough traction to get moving.
Road Map- people are so dependent on their smart phones and GPS for telling them where they are they've forgot how to use a map. Some people really zone out while driving which makes giving directions to first responders or help difficult.
Tow Strap- makes for a quick and cheap pull out of a ditch if you find someone with a truck.
Sleeping bag- incase you're stuck in your car for a while. (wool blanket works too, if you don't have a good jacket you can cut a hole in the blanket and wear it like a poncho)
If you have kids then pack stuff to both keep them warm and entertained like colouring books, toys etc..
It's around $100 but a Jump-Start system will give your battery enough power to start if there are no other cars around. You can use it 2 - 3 times then need to recharge it by plugging it into an AC outlet. This saved me from a 30km walk in the middle of winter to a phone.
Phone charger that plugs into an outlet or USB if your car has that.
Another pricy but very handy item is a cell phone signal booster. Depending on the area you travel you may lose reception. A signal booster can help you get a signal to call for help.
Toilet paper (or baby wipes)
Last but not least some non-perishable food. I put a bunch of snacks and high energy food inside a protien tub.
I think in this day and age we take forgranted that help is close by and cell phones lure us into a false sense of security. It's still quite easy to find yourself lost and out of reach even relitively close to a city. There's numerous stories of people being stuck with their vehicles for a couple of days and having to go for help when none showed up. It doesn't hurt to be prepared.