While most people will make it to their destinations without any issues, consider how you would handle a flat tire, running out of gas, or getting into an accident. While nobody wants to think about what can go wrong, it’s important to be prepared. Fortunately, you can prevent many problems with some simple preparations, and assembling an emergency road kit is the key. With a roadside safety kit at the ready, you’ll be prepared for anything that happens as you travel from home to your destination.
1. Water Bottles & Food
Beyond snacking, water bottles and food are important items to throw into your roadside emergency kit. In the event that you are stranded for a long period of time, food and water may be more than a convenience – you might need these items to survive! It’s not just during the winter months that breaking down can be a matter of life or death, either. When Mick Ohman’s car broke down in the Arizona desert two years ago during a summer drive, he was extremely lucky he had water (and some beer!) in the car with him. Three days passed before he was able to flag down another motorist; luckily, he was able to survive on the few rations he had packed for his trip.(1)
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2. Flashlights and Flares
The next item you can’t do without in your roadside emergency kit is a flashlight and some flares. If you break down, you’ll want to light the flares so help can find you easily (especially at night). Plus, the flares will also alert passing drivers that you’re in distress, and passing vehicles will not hit you when they see those flares. As for the flashlight, you’ll want this to have clear vision when looking under the hood, fixing a tire, or simply sitting in the dark while waiting for help to arrive.
3. Blankets for Roadside Safety
Especially during the fall and winter months, you’ll want to add some warm blankets to your road safety kit. If you run out of gas, have an accident, or if your battery dies, you won’t have any heat to keep you warm as you wait for assistance. Depending on where you are and how long you have to wait, a blanket could make the difference between staying warm and experiencing frostbite.
4. Extra Clothing
Like blankets, having extra clothing on hand is important to remain warm and dry, no matter what your circumstances may be.
5. Spare Tire & Related Supplies
Most likely, your car already has a spare tire, but if not, now’s the time to get one! Even if it’s a temporary tire “donut”, having it in your trunk gives you the peace of mind that a flat tire won’t strand you in the middle of nowhere.
Another important part of the roadside safety kit, however, is more than the tire: be sure you have all the supplies that will allow you to change the tire in the first place! That includes a flashlight to see what you’re doing (see #2), an operational jack to raise the car up, and the lug wrench to remove the tire’s bolts, so you can get the flat tire off and replace it with the new one. And if you’re not familiar with how to change a tire, watch some videos, ask a handy friend to demonstrate, or create a list of directions for yourself (and keep them with your spare tire and supplies).
6. Jumper Cables
Of course, you’ll need another vehicle to hook up with for the cables to be functional. But sometimes a simple jump start is all you need to get back on the road.
7. Money for Emergency Road Kit
If you break down and find yourself close to other homes and/or businesses, having some spare cash on hand may come in handy. You can purchase gas, food, and water – or to pay for someone to fix your car on the spot.
8. First Aid Kit
Depending upon the reason for your breakdown, you may have suffered injuries. If those injuries aren’t too serious, the supplies in a first aid kit may certainly come to the rescue.
This includes chargers for any device, such as cell phones, portable radios, flashlights, etc. For example, if you break down and you have a portable charger for your dead cell phone, you can charge up and call for immediate assistance.
10. Silent Beacon Roadside Safety Device
The most important item to include in your emergency roadside safety kit is the Silent Beacon. Silent Beacon is the roadside safety device that calls 911 or any pre-stored number while sending multiple contacts your GPS location quickly and easily.
Different emergencies require different responses. Silent Beacon allows you to customize who you call for help, whether that’s 911, emergency services, a family member or friend, even phone numbers overseas. Silent Beacon uses your smartphone’s GPS to send your location in real-time via text, email, and push notifications to people who can help you in an emergency. This feature adds a whole extra layer of safety, enabling contacts to find you if you’re incapacitated or unable to talk.
Unlike competing devices, Silent Beacon charges no monthly or hidden fees. Once you purchase your device and connect it with your smartphone or tablet’s Bluetooth®. You won’t have to worry about additional fees or setup costs. Because it’s a one-touch button, you don’t need to fumble with logins and cell phone passwords, either. Activate the alert, and first responders can pinpoint your location with the Beacon’s gps technology.
Ok, so you’ve followed these recommendations and assembled the best roadside emergency kit ever! Not only are you now fully prepared. But you’ll also have the peace of mind that comes from carrying the Silent Beacon with you on your road trip as well.