Are You Really Prepared for an Emergency While on the Road?

( – Many Americans live in places with poor public transit access or require a car to get to work or school on a daily basis. Some even live in their cars. In a nation of highways and byways, it’s important to have the resources available to fix your car, no matter what happens. Are you ready for unexpected problems? Does your car have a warranty? What is your insurance coverage like? These factors can impact your ability to pay for emergency repairs and maintenance.

In addition to those costs, there are also unexpected problems most people don’t consider. Let’s take a look at them.

Living In Your Car

While most people don’t want to live in their car, housing is incredibly expensive in the United States. While waiting for Section 8 housing availability or your next job opportunity, living in your car might be the only option. This is a little more manageable if your vehicle is larger.

When your car is your home, keeping it active and mobile is a very important expenditure. Keep a spare of every type of bulb your vehicle takes when possible — in addition to a fan belt, motor oil, antifreeze or coolant, and air filters. You’ll need to be especially organized to live in your car, and should research and devise systems that will work for you. You may also wish to invest in safety features such as external cameras and warm blankets when it starts to get cold.

If you’re able to spend some time outside of the city and suburbs, consider an air mattress and pop up tent, a compass (in case of GPS failure or phone shut off), and paper maps of your area.

The Threat of Civil Unrest

Life in America is unpredictable. In 2020 and 2021, civil and political unrest ravaged the country. When driving through or living near hotspots, some motorists were exposed to violent or unsafe conditions. While it’s always preferable to avoid unsafe locations, it’s not always possible — especially when actions are unplanned or previously unknown to you.

While some may choose guns as their ideal gear, there are other options as well, including items you can use in addition to guns or defense items more appropriate for a younger person. Consider a large can of bear spray for a less than lethal option — when in danger from a crowd, you can spray it in an “S” pattern. Note that pressurized containers have to be kept cool, so bring them to an air conditioned location when you’r not traveling to avoid an explosion.

A fire extinguisher is always a great idea to carry along. In addition to being handy in the case of car fires or fires you may encounter on the road, it’s also a great self-defense tool as you can put out fires caused by Molotov cocktails or spray attackers with the fire extinguisher.

Consider also a trauma and first aid kit, a glass breaker tool in case you need to escape your car, masks in case of a COVID mutation or gas encounter, safety glasses to protect yourself from flying debris, decontamination wipes, and saline solution to help rinse out your eyes.

While these are handy items in situations of civil unrest, they’re also useful to have in case of other emergencies, such as natural disasters or terrorist attacks.

In addition to these mainstays, it’s important to consider various weather conditions and other emergencies. It’s always useful to keep a small tool kit in the car, emergency (foil) blankets, and food and water in case of emergency situations. Your preparedness could save the life of you, yourself, or strangers in need on the highway.

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