New Brunswick

Emergency car kits are essential in winter storms, CAA says

CAA urges drivers to be prepared to be stranded in vehicles during severe winter storms.

CAA's Gary Howard says emergency kits should include heat source, food and cellphone

Drivers should all be carrying a winter emergency kit in their vehicles, according to a spokesperson for the Canadian Automobile Association in Atlantic Canada. 

This weekend two men from New Brunswick were stranded on Highway 15 between Port Elgin and Shediac for more than 10 hours.

The pair were travelling from Charlottetown to Fredericton and got stuck in a snowbank. The highway was closed shortly after and it was too dangerous for emergency vehicles to rescue them.

Gary Howard, the vice-president of marketing and communications for CAA,said drivers should avoid being on the road when the police begin issuing travel advisories.

Drivers should also make sure they have a kit in their vehicle just in case they run into problems, he said.

 "A little emergency kit is good all year round," Howard said.  

A little emergency kit is good all year round.- Gary Howard, CAA

He said an emergency kit should include first aid supplies, thermal blankets, a coffee can and a candle which can heat a vehicle, a flashlight, a cellphone and food.

If stranded in a snowbank, Howard said it's important to be aware of the traffic.

"As much as possible stay with the vehicle because if you’re out on the roads in bad conditions other vehicles may not be able to see you. If you do have to leave, leave a note to say what time you left and what direction you headed in," he said.

"Try to keep warm and make sure your exhaust is clear so if you are turning on the vehicle it’s not coming back into the vehicle."

As for driving in post-storm conditions, Howard said being aware of other drivers and taking your time can prevent most accidents.  

"As you try to get into traffic do it slowly, ease out. Watch for other vehicles and let them out," he said.

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