Anyone can get stranded and for a variety of reasons. It is important to realize that there is no one single reason that you could get stranded. People get stranded every day due to everything from car failure and other events out of their control to sudden shifts in weather conditions. Sometimes it just comes down to good old-fashioned bad luck.
Getting stranded while traveling with your family is, of course, a very serious situation. If you are traveling with children, then having a car emergency kit is even more important. Planning ahead may just save your life and the lives of your family! The National Weather Service has concluded that 70% of the weather related deaths occur inside of cars.
Don’t Forget to Check the Weather
A simple errand could turn into an unexpected ordeal due to a quick shift in the weather. When the weather turns, we are all at its mercy and the only thing you can really do is be as prepared as possible.
When heading out for any trip, especially a long one, it is prudent to check the weather conditions before your trip. If your trip is taking more than one day, be sure that you check the weather each day. That check should include not just the area you are currently in, but also all the areas you plan to travel to during your journey.
Make Sure You Never Run Out of Gas
Running out of gas is something that you simply shouldn’t allow to happen to you. Some locations, such as Wyoming, have considerable distances between the different gas stations that you will encounter. So when you’re on the road, pay attention to how much gas you have and how good your access to gas will be along the way. As a simple rule don’t let your gas tank get lower than half a tank.
What if You Do Get Stuck?
If you are stuck on the road, then that means you’ll have to take care of every aspect of your being and welfare. In short, you’ll need to handle your own food and water, sanitation, warmth and shelter, emotional well-being and security.
What Should Go in Your Car Emergency Kit?
Water is a major concern. People can’t survive a long period of time without it. You can function for weeks without food, but after just a few days without water, dehydration sets in. As a result, your mental function will become severely impaired. The average person needs about 4 quarts of water a day, with some of that water coming from food. However, during the summer or a heat wave, this number could be even higher.
Other key essentials for a car emergency kit include such items as food, snacks, a first-aid kit, flashlight, toilet paper, flares, winter clothing and winter boots and blankets. A cellphone and cell phone charger is an exceptional idea. If you travel a great deal you may want to even consider a satellite phone so that you are truly never out of range.
Finally, remember that your chances of being found are greater if you stay with your car then if you begin walking in an attempt to reach help. Roll down the window in your car to prevent carbon monoxide buildup if you keep your car running for an extended period of time. Additionally, if you are using your car’s heater to stay warm in the winter, it is advisable to only run your car for about 15 minutes at a time. While a car emergency kit and all of the tools highlighted here are invaluable, the greatest tool in a time of crisis is your mind, so use it wisely.