If you’ve kept up with the news over the last week, you’ve no doubt seen much coverage on the weather-related traffic disaster caused by snowfall and ice in the Atlanta metro area. While our families were not directly involved, thank goodness (!), thousands of people were. Most were not prepared for what would normally be a 45-minute commute turning into a 24-hour nightmare.
In an effort to be better prepared for a roadside emergency, our Atlanta Professional Organizer has compiled a list of items to create an emergency kit. Remember, it’s always better to take the time to be prepared beforehand than to look back and wish you’d taken these few simple steps to ensure you and your family’s safety!
Roadside Emergency Kit Essentials:
- Cell phone with car charger – Nowadays, most of us keep our cell phone handy 24/7. But, one recurring theme folks who were stranded on our Atlanta highways experienced were dead cell batteries, and no way to recharge them. Always keep a backup cell phone charger in your emergency kit!
- If you really want to cover the bases, consider purchasing a portable solar charger to ensure you always have cell power, even if your car loses battery power.
- Small gas can – Another issue many Atlanta drivers experienced was running out of fuel. So many people were just sitting stranded in their vehicles and eventually ran out of gas. Keep a small gas can handy, so you can retrieve fuel when needed.
- Jumper cables – This one’s pretty obvious, and something you should always keep in your vehicle to jump a dead battery. Always.
- Flashlight with spare batteries – When nighttime rolls around, you’ll be glad to have a flashlight to navigate in the dark. It can also be useful to wave down assistance.
- Roadside triangle reflectors/flares – This will help to warn others of your disabled vehicle, keeping it and you safe from oncoming traffic.
- Small toolkit – This kit should include screwdrivers, an adjustable wrench, pliers, etc. These items can come in handy in many different situations.
- First aid kit – Whether it’s for you and your family, or to help others, this is another emergency kit essential.
- Tow strap – This is something many Atlanta area drivers could have utilized during the traffic emergencies caused by the winter weather. We saw so many stories of people sliding off into ditches, running into embankments, etc. A tow strap could save the day if any of these things were to happen to you!
- Notepad and pen – To leave a note on your dashboard when you must abandon your vehicle.
- Heavy-duty duct tape – Tape up broken windows, among countless other uses. Many folks down here in the south believe duct tape can repair almost anything!
- Ice scraper – Help remove winter precipitation from your windows for safe driving.
- Spare tire kit – This includes your spare tire, jack, lug wrench, and a small board to put under the jack. You won’t be able to change your flat tire without these items.
- Warm blankets – This will help you keep warm when stranded, without having to keep your car running.
- Backup socks/shoes – Because many people were leaving their places of work during the snow, they were not properly clothed for the winter weather. Many didn’t even try to walk because they didn’t have good footwear. Keep an old pair of comfy shoes and some thick socks in your emergency kit so this won’t happen to you.
- Map – Always know where you are, and how to get to where you need to go.
- Bottles of water – Thanks to some Good Samaritans who offered “Southern Hospitality,” folks were kept hydrated and fed while stranded in their vehicles, but what if no one were around you and your stranded vehicle? Be sure to have water to keep hydrated.
- Backpack – Stuff it with the essentials so you may grab and go if you’re forced to abandon your vehicle.
- Extra medication – If you take any type of medication regularly, keep some extra in this kit; enough to last until you can make it to safety.
Our Atlanta Professional Organizer understands this isn’t an especially pleasant subject, but given the emergencies reported on the news, it’s something timely to do for your family that can make a real difference in the future. Take the time now to be prepared in the event of a roadside emergency in the future.