Posted by: RJ the Fire Dog Blogger | June 18, 2012

When it Comes to Summer Travel, Murphy’s Laws Apply

BE SAFE this summer as you travel.

Unexpected vacation disasters can strike whether you travel by ship, airplane or horse and buggy. In the coming weeks, we will examine the best way to BE SAFE by preparing for travel-related emergencies. This post focuses on road trips. Although I am not a licensed driver, I give two paws up to these tips.

Even if you plan and prepare for weeks, you will likely encounter some sort of unexpected situation as your drive. Here is what could happen if you fail to plan:

As you wind your way along steep mountain roads, you hear a terrible thumping sound and, even as you feel a loss of control, you realize that one of your tires has blown out. If you were to pull to the side of the road to fix the flat, would you:

  • Have to stop to unload the luggage and coolers which effectively block all of your tools?
  • Empty the trunk only to discover that your spare is missing or flat or that the jack is nowhere in sight?
  • Leave the car running while dealing with the dilemma so your family won’t suffocate in the summer heat, and in so doing—run out of gas?
  • Turn on your cellphone to call a tow truck and discover that your battery has died?
  • Realize in horror that you left the beef jerky treats on the kitchen counter?

Admittedly, this is a worst-case scenario. We share it to illustrate the fact that the best way to weather a travel-related emergency is to be prepared:

Like a pilot, before you take off, make sure all systems are “go.”

The best thing to do before heading off to Grandma’s is to take your car to a mechanic for a systems’ check. But if you decide to go it alone, make sure your tires are inflated according to manufacturer’s recommendations and that they have plenty of tread. Top off fluids. Check your oil. Make sure your windshield wipers are in good working condition. Double-check to make sure the windows roll up and down so your canine traveling companions can stick our heads out and pant.

Prepare an Emergency “Go Bag”

Your trunk should always have an emergency kit. But when you are traveling long distances, you might want to add a few extra items. You should be able to assemble emergency supplies an auto supply or department store, or you can take it easy on yourself by purchasing a pre-assembled kit online. Several organizations create and sell these kits, including the American Red Cross. In our previous blog posts, we have covered details about what should be included in your Go Bag.  So please reference these blogs for more information.

Make sure your travel kit includes:

  • Flashlights and extra batteries
  • First-Aid Kit
  • Hand-crank radio
  • A folding camping (Army) shovel
  • Jumper cables (8-12 feet long)
  • Fuses. Get the right ones for your car, as there are several types.
  • Tools
  • Blankets
  • Fluids for your car
  • Rags
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Road flares
  • Gloves, socks and boots
  • Electrical and duct tape
  • WD-40
  • A Knife
  • Bright cloth or emergency road sign to display in your window
  • Non-perishable food items and a can opener
  • Rain gear
  • Dry clothes
  • Folding chair(s)
  • Snacks
  • Toilet paper
  • Books and games
  • Prescription medications
  • Your favorite pet as well as his food and dishes
  • And, if there’s still room…your wife and kids.

Before you hit the road:

  • Make sure your cell phone is charged and that you have packed your home and car chargers.
  • Invest in a small manual that has easy-to-follow instructions about basic roadside repair.
  • Do a “dry run” of changing a tire in the safety of your driveway, so you know how to do it before called upon to do so in the dark.
  • Check the contents of your kit when the seasons change. While a blanket, chains and ice scraper are important for winter driving conditions, you would probably prefer a battery-operated personal fan in the dead of summer.

Keeping a roadside emergency kit in your car will give you peace of mind as well as the tools you’ll need in the event of an emergency during your travels this summer.

When a disaster of any kind strikes, prior planning and clear decisive action can help save lives. For the latest emergency management training for facility/building managers, contact RJWestmore, Inc. Our new Version 3.0 e-based training system offers the best emergency training system with automated and integrated features. What’s more, the NEW RJWestmore Property Messaging System is included FREE for all RJWestmore Online Training System users. Visit RJWestmore.com for more information.

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