From the Boy Scouts who warned you to “always be prepared,” to Ben Franklin’s proverb that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” we have all heard the warnings. Traveling by car – especially in the Minnesota winters – requires extra preparedness, in case of an emergency.
Preparing an emergency car kit can be a simple solution to save you a lot of trouble in the long run. Plan ahead with some of these tips to keep you and your loved ones safe!
What Goes Into an Emergency Car Kit?
There are a number of ideas, especially dependent on the season of travel, that can go into a well-rounded emergency car kit. Some specifically winter-based concepts may be removed in the off-season as you see fit.
While packing your kit, keep in mind the weather conditions you are likely to encounter. If you are traveling long stretches that may be isolated from cell phone service, or worry that there won’t be much “civilization” along the way, consider which extra items you may need.
Here are a few helpful suggestions to get you started:
- Emergency roadside flares
- Jumper cables
- Food and water
- A package of kitty litter or sand
- Warm clothing and blankets
- A spare phone charger
- A back-up battery for electronic devices
- A snow scraper
- A shovel
- First-Aid Kit and basic medical supplies
- Windshield washer fluid and back-up wipers
- A flashlight and batteries (or crank, hand-operated light)
- An emergency radio and batteries (or crank, hand-operated radio)
Helpful Hints to Stay Safe in Your Car
Taking some preemptive measures to ensure your safety can truly go a long way to keeping your travels pleasurable. With some handy forethought, you can mitigate many frustrations.
Some helpful things to consider before starting your engines might include:
Preview Your Route Before Leaving
Know where you are heading, especially if this is new territory for you. Being unfamiliar with the roads can add to the uncertainty. Pre-plan your stops, know the route, and consider jotting down the major routes or directions on good old-fashioned pen and paper.
Should you lose your cellular or GPS service, it is always nice to have a route in mind as a backup, just in case.
Share Your Travel Plans with Friends or Family
Especially if traveling alone or in small groups, be sure that you have shared your itinerary with others. Be sure they know your planned route along with expected arrival and departure times. Should anything go awry, your loved ones will know where you planned to be traveling, what stops you aimed to make, and when they should have expected you at their door.
Consider Alternative Communication Methods
If you anticipate long stretches without cell services, consider bringing along other modes of communication. Have change for pay phones, opt for aCB radio, or walkie-talkies to chat amongst your caravan (if multiple cars). Folks traveled long before cell phones, and we can still do without them – believe it or not! Just plan ahead.
Review Your Auto Insurance Policies
Another great way to stay prepared is to take time this year to review your auto insurance policies. Be sure you are covered in the event of any unforeseen circumstances. From accidents on the road, to a car flooding, fire, or other emergencies, you want to be sure you have the plan that is the right fit for you, not to mention at the right price to fit your budget.
Make an appointment today with me, and we can discuss your individual needs. Being prepared for a road trip goes beyond what’s packed into the car. Prepare with sensible insurance policies that have you covered in any event.