Are you ready for a winter roadside emergency?
Have you ever really thought about it?
Do you assume it won’t ever happen to you?
Every year people die by the side of the road. They slide off and no one notices. They wander accidentally down a back country road. Most stories include a man desperate to save his family wandering off searching for help. Most often he is found dead within a mile of where his journey began. Often his family is found alive waiting it out in the car. Hungry. Cold. Scared. Traumatized.
In a lot of these circumstances, preparedness was the difference between life and death.
Imagine this scenario:
There is a huge blizzard near a major holiday, or maybe during rush hour. Dozens of cars are sliding off all over the county. Realize this: There are only so many law enforcement and emergency services personnel. There are only so many tow trucks. You may be waiting hours. Hours in the bitter cold with your crying, scared children in the pitch black. Is your gas tank full? Can you idle your car for hours to provide heat?
How about this scenario:
You are on your way to visit family in another town. The weather seems good, and you don’t have to travel far. A blizzard finds you. It’s dark out and coming down hard. You slide off into a ditch. It’s snowing so hard that your skid marks are quickly covered and no one sees you. You are stuck overnight, or worse, days until you are found.
Seriously, this stuff happens. And people die.
It takes very little effort, and very little cost to be prepared.
First, keep water in your trunk. Ideally keep 1 gallon per person (and dog) per day for 3 days. WaterBricks are perfect for this. One WaterBrick per creature, human or otherwise, is enough to sustain you through 3 days. Being stackable, and durable, they are space savers compared to regular gallons. Just remember to freshen the water occasionally.
Second, keep a food stash. Read here for more great ideas about what to keep. While life sustenance is the goal, do not forget about comfort! Even if it only lasts several hours, it will be extremely stressful. Including some of your family’s favorite foods will help. Also, don’t forget pet food.
Third, keep some basic camping gear. I keep a sleeping bag, a winter coat, hats, gloves, camping pillow, etc. year round. You don’t need to stuff your trunk full, but if you run out of gas, you will need those items.
Fourth, don’t forget the basics, a first aid kit, a roadside car kit. Always keep something bright orange you can display to signal help.
At least several times a year my husband asks me if I really need to keep all this crap in the car. Yes! Because you just never know. Where we come from, a pleasant road trip into the mountains in June can lead us into an unexpected snowstorm. Travelling to common destinations usually includes at least one major mountain pass. While we can’t live in a bubble in our houses all winter, we can prepare.
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