Winter advice - make sure you have emergency kits

Published: Tuesday 5 November 2019

Some of the emergency kit it is advised motorists should carry with them

The second day of South Lanarkshire Council’s Winter Awareness Week is focusing on emergency kits for the car and home.

Chair of South Lanarkshire Council’s Community and Enterprise Resources Committee, Councillor John Anderson, said: “It’s always a good idea to keep emergency kits in the car and in the house.

“In the car it makes sense to keep some essential items in the boot in case you get stuck in snow or breakdown in bad weather.

“A kit in the house can cover many situations including a power cut or getting snowed in. It can also include a grab bag in case you need to leave in a hurry, for example if there is severe flooding in your area.”

In the car
A basic cold weather and emergency kit should include:
• ice scraper and de-icer
• a torch and some spare batteries
• a shovel
• a small bag of salt
• boots
• a first aid kit
• jump leads or battery pack
• warm clothes and blankets
• an in-car/portable phone charger
• a paper road map in case your phone runs out of charge
• snacks and water
• a reflective warning sign
• reflective sunglasses for driving in low sun

As well as an emergency kit you should:
• make sure your vehicle has been regularly serviced and has enough antifreeze
• make sure your wipers are in good condition and regularly top up screenwash
• keep your fuel tank reasonably full, in case you get stuck
• check all your lights are working and are clean
• check your battery if you’ve had it a while
• check your tyres are correctly inflated and have plenty of grip
• consider whether you want to fit winter tyres – these give much improved grip
• make sure someone knows where you are going and when you expect to return if the weather is bad

In the house
If you have a power cut for any length of time or you are snowed in it is a good idea to have the following stashed somewhere:
• a torch and radio with spare batteries for both (or wind-up ones)
• emergency phone numbers
• essential medicines, a first aid kit and toiletries
• three days’ worth of food and water that won't go off
• baby and pet supplies, if needed
• spare keys for home and car
• pencil, paper, penknife and whistle
• a shovel, especially in winter for snow
• copies of important documents like insurance details and birth certificates
• a camping stove for cooking if the power is off

You could also have a small rucksack with your kit in case you need to leave quickly. This could contain some of the items from the list above.

If you experience loss of power, you should call 105 (from landline or mobile), to connect to Scottish Power Energy Networks. Other contacts are 0800 092 9290 (from landline) or via Twitter.