How to Prepare for a Roadside Emergency
By Megan Morrow
Published November 8, 2018
As the roads get icier and busier with holiday travel, many people will be thinking more about what to pack in their suitcases than how to pack a useful, well-stocked roadside emergency kit. The fact of the matter is that a flat tire, dead battery or accident can happen any time of year and in any conditions, and it always pays to be prepared, particularly if you are going to be stuck on the side of the road for several hours.
Even the most careful of drivers should prepare for a potential roadside emergency and the following tips can help you no matter what the season or reason:
- Keep an emergency kit in your car at all times. This kit should include jumper cables, a flashlight and extra batteries, drinking water, a first aid kit, road flares, gloves, a tarp and blanket, nonperishable food, a car cellphone charger and a multipurpose tool, as well as anything specific to your family/location. If you ever dip into your kit and remove an item, make sure you replace it, immediately.
- Store key contact information on your phone. In the case of an accident or incident, it will be helpful to have your insurance company’s number plus your policy information stored on your cell phone. You can also add a list of emergency contacts – ideally, you should store all of this information on your cell phone and print a list to keep in your emergency kit. Fully charge your cell phone before any long trips and ensure you have a car or solar charger handy.
- Practice makes perfect. If you have never changed a tire, now is the time to learn. If you are doing it for the first time in the heat of the moment, it will be a lot more stressful than a practice run. Likewise, it is helpful to know how to jump a car battery, use your first-aid kit, set off a road flare and other emergency-related tasks.
- Keep your car in good working order. Make sure your gas tank is full before embarking on a long trip and install winter tires, if needed. Maintain regular visits to the mechanic for oil changes, factory recalls and other automobile updates that could impact your travel.
You can store your emergency roadside kit in your trunk so that if the time ever comes, you will know where to find important supplies in the face of a travel challenge or accident.
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The material presented here is for information purposes only and is not to be considered an offer to buy or sell any security. This report was prepared from sources believed to be reliable but it is not guaranteed as to accuracy and it is not a complete summary of statement of all available data. Information and opinions are current up to the date of publication and are subject to change without notice. The purchase and sale of securities should be conducted on an individual basis considering the risk tolerance and investment objective of each investor and with the advice and counsel of a professional advisor. The opinions expressed by Ms. Morrow are strictly her own and do not necessarily reflect those of Herbert J. Sims & Co., Inc. or their affiliates. This is not a solicitation to buy or an offer to sell any particular investment. All investment involves risk and may result in a loss of principal. Investors should carefully consider their own circumstances before making any investment decision.