If you’re planning a lengthy road trip, there are many things you’d never think to bring with you that could get you out of a crisis situation. You need way more than just that blanket in the trunk, car jack and spare tire, umbrella, rainproof poncho, utility tool and fire extinguisher.
- Sunglasses, sunscreen, wide brimmed hat
- Cold climate: thermal underwear, wool/hat/scarf/mittens, chemical heat packs, snow boots, windshield de-icer, cat litter (cheaper and lighter than sand, will give traction to a vehicle stuck in snow/ice)
- Flares, reflective warning triangles
- “Call Police” sign. This goes against the rear window with the message facing motorists approaching from behind. If a predator sees a stranded female motorist, he’ll be tempted to stop and assault her. But if he sees the “Call Police” sign, he has no idea if another motorist called the police and the cops are only two minutes away.
- Head lamp (will come in handy for changing a flat tire in the dark)
- “LifeHammer” type tool: It slices through seatbelts and smashes through glass.
- Paperwork: auto insurance card, medical card, list of important numbers, paper pad, pen
- First aid kit
- The auto emergency kit should include batteries, jumper cables, antifreeze, tire inflator, tire gauge, foam tire sealant, duct tape, flash light and glow sticks.
- Pepper spray
- Ear horn, whistle
For Being Stranded
- Spare water
- Food designated for emergency use: nutrition or energy bars in a flavor you don’t like, and a few cans of dog food. Often, stranded motorists eat through their emergency food too quickly. This won’t happen if you’re looking at that gritty-tasting low carb bar or Liver Chunks dog food.
- Small mirror (to reflect sunlight to search-and-rescue aircraft)
- Toilet paper, sanitizing wipes, garbage bag, wire ties, urinal
- Spare sneakers and socks
- Car compatible phone charger, preferably solar and hand crank powered (in a separate article of mine, I discuss numerous great apps for your smartphone when driving long distance)
- Often, before people embark on a long road trip, they have weeks, sometimes months of advance notice (such as for a move or vacation). During that time, you should commit to getting as physically fit as possible. You just never know what demands will be placed upon your body as a result of some mishap during your road trip. For example, a physically fit body can better withstand walking for long periods in the heat while carrying a toddler and rucksack than can a de-conditioned body.
- Also during that time, take self-defense lessons.
Robert Siciliano personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen. See him knock’em dead in this identity theft prevention video.