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Winter safety kits could save your life

By Rebecca Bartlett [1]

BELLEVILLE – Winter weather brings snow, slush, ice and dangerous driving conditions, and carrying a winter safety kit in your car could save your life.

Some necessities listed by the federal Government [2] for a good winter safety kit are: a shovel, sand or kitty litter, cloth or paper towels, extra clothing and footwear, blankets, booster cables, and a first-aid kit with a seatbelt cutter.

“Every time I open the trunk, I’m like ‘oh I should probably put something in here,’ like my parents have told me about it, but that was before I even had a car, so it kind of escaped my mind. But I give myself a slap on the wrist every time I open my trunk and I’m like ‘gosh I don’t have anything,’” said Kaylea Saint, a second-year Child and Youth Care [3] student.

She added that since she got her car in April when it was warmer out, she never thought to prepare a winter safety kit before coming to school for the year.

Another student at Loyalist has had first-hand experience with just how useful a safety kit can be.

Customs and Border Services [4] student Stacey Clemmer said she was with her family when their car stalled on a rural highway during a blizzard.

“We had the survival pack in the car, but the thing that we used the most were the tea light candles. We lit two to three tea lights and it heated the car in 10 to 15 minutes. That was the biggest thing I remember, but definitely the water and the food we at least had for a couple of hours. I think we were stranded for four or five hours.”

Clemmer’s safety kit has a lot of key items like granola bars, protein bars, heating pads, pillows blankets and an extra jacket she says.

A big believer in the need for every car to have a safety kit is Belleville’s senior fire prevention officer, John Lake.

“I guess the big thing with the blankets and maybe an extra coat or boots or whatever is if your car breaks down and you’re stuck out in the cold, it could be a life saver,” said Lake.

The best way to avoid needing your winter safety kit is to prepare your car for winter and drive to the conditions, he added.