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Vehicle Emergency Essentials

Wed, Aug 15, 2018 at 11:05AM

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In an age of GPS and smartphones, it’s still important be ready for a variety of threats on the roadways. Despite roadside assistance such as AAA and the Florida Department of Transportation’s (FDOT) Road Rangers program, initial and immediate response will often still be up to you.

In addition, not every incident involves a traffic crash. Breakdowns, debris in the road, and other scenarios force you to react with only a moment’s notice. That’s why it’s essential to be prepared for anything. Read on to learn more about how to protect yourself and your loved ones while out on the road.  

Prepare a Vehicle Emergency Kit

As mentioned, initial response is paramount to keeping everyone safe after a roadside incident. That’s why compiling a well-stocked emergency kit is a great idea. At a minimum, your kit should include:

  • smartphone and car charger
  • flashlight
  • first-aid kit
  • basic tool kit or multi-purpose tool
  • empty gas can

Don’t forget safety essentials such as roadside flares and/or reflective triangle, reflective vests, whistle/noise-maker, two-way radio, and other items. You should also consider personal essentials. This includes food and water, medication, diapers, sanitary napkins, urinals, and more.

Some drivers choose to carry advanced repair and maintenance tools such as jumper cables, fuses, and more. In addition, a vehicle fire extinguisher will not only keep you safe, but could be useful if you notice another motorist in need.

Even though the climate in Florida is favorable most every day, there are times when severe weather strikes. During thunderstorms, hurricanes, tornadoes, and similar, roadside assistance and fire/rescue personnel may be unable to immediately respond.

In the end, there’s no such thing as being overly prepared. However, needing items and having to do without can put you in an uncomfortable and unsafe situation.

Stock Other Essentials

In addition to the mentioned items, it’s also wise to carry other elements with you, such as:

  • spare tire (plus a tire iron and tire jack)
  • tire inflater/sealer (such as Fix-a-Flat)
  • lubricant (such as WD-40)
  • essential vehicle fluids (oil, coolant)
  • duct tape
  • nearby auto repair shop information (or AAA card)

For more serious incidents, many drivers keep with them survival tools such as a seat belt cutter, window breaker, blankets, towels, raingear, extra clothes and shoes, and more.

Drivers of utility vehicles (including heavy-duty trucks and SUVs) often carry extra tow straps with them to help a fellow motorist in need. Other popular assistance tools include a small shovel, crowbar, traction materials, and more.

It’s also wise to remember that there are times when the temperature drops in Florida. Particularly in the winter months, it can be downright chilly. That’s why stocking warmth items is a good idea (blankets, instant heat packs, gloves, matches or fire starters).

In the summer months, heat exhaustion and heat stroke become increased factors. Make sure you have ample water for everyone in the vehicle. In addition, it’s a good idea to stock “instant cooling” products that can help take the edge off of the heat until assistance arrives.

Secure Comprehensive Insurance Coverage

Before you even get in your vehicle it’s paramount to ensure you’re covered against a variety of roadside incidents. That starts by speaking with a trusted and reputable automobile insurance agent, who can help you determine the best options for your unique situation and requirements.

Since 2002, we’ve assisted countless Florida residents with all their insurance needs. That includes automobile, business and insurance, homeowners, flood, risk management, and more. Contact us today to learn all the ways you can keep your loved ones and property safe and secure.


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