A Quick Guide for Roadside Emergency Preparedness
You’ll never know when an accident might happen – you might even find yourself face-to-face with an emergency while you’re on the road. No one wants to be stuck with a broken-down vehicle, especially during snowy or cold and icy weather. Ensure you come prepared for whatever the road brings and have the right items in hand for roadside emergencies. In addition, there are several proactive steps you can take to better look out not only for yourself, but also your vehicle and anyone in it with you.
Keep a Phone Charger Handy
This is probably one of the most important things you could have with you. There’s no knowing how long you’ll be where you are, or how far you might be from civilization when it all happens. If you were involved in a crash with potentially lethal injuries, you never want to be without your phone. Bring a phone charger or solar-powered alternative in your car wherever you go so you can make the most of your handheld device in an emergency situation.
In addition to a phone charger, what happens if your vehicle battery dies and you can’t top up your device? This is why it’s imperative that you also bring along a battery pack that can be charged at home. Rugged and reliable brands like Anker are generally your best bet, and always read reviews to ensure you’re not buying one that is prone to being faulty as not all are made equal.
A battery bank like this can hold several complete phone recharges’ worth of juice. Just don’t forget your standard phone charging brick and detachable cable, as you’ll need them to use it - and be certain that the device charging ports on the battery bank are compatible with your charger. The most common types include USB-A, Micro-USB, and USB-C, the latter being the fastest-charging method.
Have a First Aid Kit in the Trunk
It’s easy to sustain injuries if you end up in a crash. In case you were cut up, bruised, or harmed in an accident, you don’t want to sit around helplessly while you wait for rescue. Keep a first aid kit in your trunk and make sure it has the necessary items you need to patch up the injuries you expect from a car crash, or to assist other injured parties.
Keep Urgent Items Close By
While you should keep a first-aid kit in the trunk, what if you need emergency access to insulin or other crucial medicines and can’t get out of the car for some reason? While it’s not fun to think of this circumstance occurring, keep yourself safe by placing an emergency bag of essential medical items within the glovebox or under your seat. Just don’t forget that it’s there when you complete your trip, as you can then store them safely inside your home until the next road trip.
Pack a Flashlight
What could be worse than a broken-down car in the middle of nowhere? Well, turn off the lights and you’ve got yourself a situation that’s ten times worse. Not only is it hard to keep your cool in the dark, it’s also easier for others to crash into your vehicle if they don’t see it right away. Keep a flashlight and some flares in handy just in case you break down at night. Another flashlight solution is the one built into your smartphone, if you have one, as all major brands include this functionality into the flash of the phone’s camera.
Non-Perishable Food and Water Stock
Who knows how long you might be stuck out on the road? There have been stories of people who had to survive their situation for weeks before any sort of rescue found where they were. While this is highly unlikely to occur, especially if you’re driving in and around areas with even a mild amount of regular traffic, it’s better not to take chances. Not everyone will be willing to stop, and sometimes none will at all. Non-perishable food items and a clean supply of water will extend your chances of survival, especially if you crash in a remote area or if you can’t get anyone to stop and assist.
Learn the Essentials
Do you know how to change a tire, replace oil and wiper fluid, and perform other basic maintenance steps? Sometimes these can restore your vehicle to at least operational order, allowing you to get away even if your ride looks like it’s seen better days. With this information in mind, your vehicle should definitely include a spare tire in the trunk, a jack to lift the vehicle as needed, a brush and scraper, and other critical care components. That way, whether you’re stranded in a snowstorm or get a flat out in the deep remote wilderness, you have a fighting chance of escaping. Knowledge is indeed power in this case!
Pack Thermal Blankets
If the battery dies and the cold sets in, you don’t want to be stuck with only a car seat that was already uncomfortable two hours ago. Pack thermal blankets – enough for everyone in the vehicle – and perhaps even spare pillows and sleeping bags. It’s important to maintain body temperature in freezing conditions for your health and safety. Do not leave this to chance.
Let People Know Where You’re Going
You probably left people behind from where you came from, and you probably have people expecting you at your destination. Let them know what time you left and what time you intend to arrive as a proactive measure. If you fail to show up when they expect you, it’s more likely that they will alert the authorities and find out where you are.
When faced with challenges on the road, it’s best to take yourself, your vehicle, and all other occupants out of harm’s way. Of course, before heading out, you should also be prepared for any eventuality, and that includes having a sufficient and active insurance policy in place.