This winter saw an unprecedented amount of highway and road closures due to weather, chemical spills and pile-ups. Some of these problems forced thousands of motorists to spend more than a full day trapped inside of their vehicles with little or no assistance from the outside world. While some were helped by their fellow travelers, many were forced to fend for themselves and make do with what they had in their cars and trucks until they were able to get moving again. It is hard to imagine that in this day and age that we can become paralyzed and immobilized on our highways, and it only takes one event, one split-second to turn a routine trip in to a life and death struggle.
Many people jump in their cars without giving thought to what they would do if they broke down, got stuck in traffic overnight, ran out of gas and needed to eat and drink. What would you do? It only takes a small amount of preparation and foresight to makes sure that your trip goes off with as little risk as possible, and you just need a small bag or box of essential items to ensure that you are protected. No one expects to encounter problems on the road way, but this is what makes getting stranded all the more dangerous. Emergencies happen when we least expect them, and this is why being prepared is so important.
Don’t take risks with your life, safety or overall well being, and make sure that you have essential material and supplies in your vehicle before you leave your home. This is especially true in the winter when weather can make a huge impact on the risks that you will face. Thousands of motorists had no clue that they would be in harm’s way when they started their trips this year, and none of them expected that they would be without access to rescue, emergency services or basic resources for almost a day.
Every car should have an emergency kit that includes food, water, blankets, flares, basic tools, oil and a flashlight with extra batteries. Everyone should take medication, extra clothes and even a couple of books with them in order to help them to pass the time if they get stranded. Cell phones may not work, or maybe batteries will die after being on for more than a few hours. A help sign is also a good idea, especially if you break down away from other cars. In short, leaving the house with simple and common-sense items can help you to prevent facing a serious emergency when you are on the road.
You can put this kit in your trunk, and it doesn’t require a lot of extra space. You should also have a full tank of gas and make sure that your vehicle has been serviced before the start of any major trip. Even commuters from rural areas just outside of cities can find themselves paralyzed in traffic for hours, and it is important to always be prepared for anything, never taking anything for granted just because you never had serious problems in the past. Remember that survival preparation is about being ready for the one in a million chance that something bad will happen, so you want to be ready if and when that moment arrives.
Being in a vehicle is not the safest place in the world, especially when you are not moving and it is cold outside. It may be miles to your destination, miles from a restaurant, convenience store or gas station. You may be stuck in a blizzard and end up being buried under a few feet of blowing and drifting snow. You may end up being unable to walk for help simply because conditions are too difficult and dangerous. Whatever the reason, if you are stranded on the road, you want to know that your basic needs are met and that your life is not in immediate danger.
Stay warm, stay hydrated and bring extra food- snacks and munchies. Make sure that you have your medicine, a fully-charged mobile phone and a flashlight with extra batteries. Blankets will keep you warm and help you reduce the amount of time that you need to keep your car running to provide heat. The more prepared you are will make waiting for help more bearable and less uncomfortable and risky. Remember that rescue could not clear roads in affected areas for more than a day after the storm hit, help was not available and people needed to look after each other and themselves. Make sure that you will be able to count on your survival kit if you find yourself in a similar situation, and you can take the fear, uncertainty and risk out of being stuck in your vehicle for a prolonged period of time.