Although many people are aware of the dangers of getting stranded on the road during a winter storm, many people do not consider these same implications when the weather is nicer. There is often a misconception that harm from exposure is related to hypothermia, but hot conditions and fluctuations in temperatures can also be detrimental to health. Before starting any summer road trip, it can be necessary to ensure that the vehicle is also prepared for emergencies. This is another point that can be overlooked, especially in regards to the duration of the trip. Getting stranded on a five mile trip into town may simply be a frustration, but when this happens 500 miles from anywhere, it can become a disaster.
The Basics Become Routine
While there are special considerations for longer trips, there are also some basic resources that should be in the vehicle at all times.
- Water – this includes both drinking water, and containers to collect functional water, as this can be used to refill a radiator or to rinse harmful substances from the skin.
- Long-term food storage – having some consumables in the vehicle is also important, as the length of being stranded can range, and the stress of the situation burns more energy in the body.
- First aid kit – this can be a pre-packed emergency kit, but it can also include customized additions for longer survival situations.
- Tools – a basic car repair kit, a jack, and a functional spare tire are often overlooked as necessities. These should always be present, regardless of the length of the excursion.
- Fire extinguisher – an overheated engine is a common cause of stranding in the summer, but this heat can also lead to the danger of combustion.
- Gas can – although running out of gas is a frequent cause of stranding, very few people actually think to carry a spare can for these situations.
- Flashlight and flares – while both flashlights and flares can provide light, flares also serve as a signal for help, and can be used as an ignition source when building a fire.
- Blanket and extra clothes – warmth and comfort are integral to safety and survival, so having a blanket for protection from the elements, as well as a change of clothes, can help to maintain the necessary core temperature for the body to function.