Anything can happen when you’re on the road, so it’s vital that you’re prepared. There are a few essential items that you should keep in the car at all times. These can help you deal with an emergency or help you contact assistance.
Put Your Smartphone to Work
When it comes to emergency preparation, your smartphone is one of the best tools you have available. According to Popular Science, the benefits of using your smartphone in an emergency go far beyond calling someone for help. With apps like Here We Go, Google Maps, and Citymapper, you’ll be able to give adequate directions to persons who are trying to find you if you’re in unfamiliar territory. Apps like Zello can turn your phone into a walkie-talkie if you need better communication options, while weather-related apps like Weather Underground can help guide you through natural disasters.
A portable charger can keep you connected even if your car dies. A solar charger will keep you juiced if you happen to be in the middle of nowhere and have to walk until you get cellphone coverage.
If you live somewhere that has drastic changes in the weather, adjust emergency supplies accordingly. This also goes for places that are more prone to weather incidents like hurricanes or tornadoes. For example, if you’re traveling during the winter, Family Handyman recommends adding warm blankets and gloves to your emergency kit. You should also keep a candle-powered heater as well as a safety absorber that can help if you’re stuck in ice. It’s also recommended that you keep food in the car so you can keep fortified if you need to wait for help. This is even more important in the winter or if you’re caught in bad weather. Some of the best foods to have on hand include granola bars or trail mix.
General car-related emergencies are common, so make sure you have supplies for them as well. Where your tires are concerned, it’s best to choose a good tire repair kit so you know you’ll be able to get where you’re going. This can be more reliable than trying to patch things up with a few random items. A typical kit will not only have tools for changing a flat tire but also re-inflating one that has been punctured. As far as general emergency kits go, Digital Trends suggests keeping reflectors, flashlights, an emergency radio, and emergency beacons. It would also be good to have additional oils and fluids just in case they’re needed on a long road trip.
A medical emergency can also occur while you’re driving, and it’s important to be prepared. While it goes without saying that you should always travel with the medication that you or your loved ones need, there are other medications you can keep handy as well. These include antiseptic wipes, antibiotic ointment, band-aids, and ibuprofen.
Even if you’re adept at changing a tire, it’s nice to have someone who does it all the time show up to get you back on the road. Check the terms of your car insurance. If you don’t have roadside assistance, you might consider an upgrade. If you’re over fifty, an AARP membership might help you get a discount on car insurance or a AAA membership.
While there’s nothing you can do to prevent emergencies, you can certainly prepare for them as best as you can. Make sure you have the right supplies for peace of mind.
by Keith Jacobs, CarUpkeep.info