Time to Update Your Emergency Road Trip Kit

Every year you should take out your emergency road trip kit, check it and refresh it because you just never know when you hit the open road, what sort of road blocks you will run into…Thanks to OnStar for providing today’s reminder.

road block

Things to Include In Your Emergency Road Kit:

 

  • An all purpose emergency car kit like the one pictured here that is good for  a variety of car troubles.Road_Side_Emergency_Kit
  • A reflective hazard warning sign (this one’s a carrying case)
  • Jumper cables
  • Ice scraper
  • Tire pressure gauge
  • Ratchet set
  • Pliers
  • Screwdrivers
  • Electrical tape
  • Automotive fuses
  • Work gloves
  • Sunblock and Bug Spray. Great for those unexpected side trips that can occur!
  • First Aid Kit
  • Roadside Emergency Kit
  • Bottled water. I like to keep a whole case in the trunk as well.
  • Snacks. Some with higher protein and some just to keep your spirits up.
  • Baby wipes.
  • Cell phone with an external battery pack for your charger. Driving a car like some of the new 2015 GM models that have an LTE mobile hotspot built into your car is a great safety luxury. Onstar help is just a push of a button away and you never have to worry about a dead phone battery. Just because you are headed off the grid doesn’t mean you can’t be connected to what matters.
  • A Class B or C Fire extinguisher as rated by by the National Fire Protection Association, or NFPA.  Class B fires are those that involve flammable or combustible liquids, such as gasoline, diesel fuel and kerosene. Class C fires involve energized electrical equipment such as switches, panel boxes and batteries. Be prepared for both.
  • Rain poncho for summer showers.

 

Don’t forget it will soon be time to winterize your emergency car kit.

I would like to thank OnStar for sponsoring this post. Do you like to road trip? I would encourage you to connect with OnStar’s #WhereInTheUSA campaign and share where you have been this summer. Share photos and use the #whereintheUSA hashtag and tag @OnStarUSA on Instagram to join in the fun. There are some great photo’s to inspire you to get out there like my funny buffalo road blocks from Custer State Park in South Dakota. SAFELY.

Disclosure: This blog post is part of a paid SocialMoms and OnStar blogging program. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own.

Technology in Vehicles

Disclosure: I have long had an interest in technology in vehicles and how that plays a role in emergency preparedness. For that reason I am a paid OnStar Ambassador through SocialMoms. While I am being compensated for this post, I believe passionately in the role of technology in vehicles for safety and the opinions expressed are solely my own.

onstar bat signalHave you ever thought of what you would do if your car turned over in a ditch on an isolated back country road? No? OK. Clearly you aren’t me. I think of these things. In fact, most people interested in emergency preparedness do. But as a beginner, you may think emergency preparedness is all about stocking your pantry with countless bags of beans and rice. It isn’t. Being prepared means thinking through the many many things, both big and small, that can go wrong in your life.

I am willing to bet that you spend a fair amount of time in your car and like any good prepper, you have a great car safety kit and you never leave home without a charged cell phone in case of an emergency. But how helpful would either of those really be in the situation I described above? Probably not very.

I have long been a user of the OnStar technology in my GMC car because I like knowing that no matter where I am if my car is in a collision and I can’t respond emergency services will be sent. I can call them at any time if I feel unsafe in my car just to have someone else on the line. The phone and the GPS signal have been a source of comfort as my kiddo learned to drive and the monthly maintenance report has been helpful in reminding me to do things that have no doubt kept me safer while driving.

OnStar just announced that they will be bringing 4G LTE connectivity to select 2015 Chevrolet vehicles. This will allow passengers to connect their personal devices (smartphones, tablets, etc.) to high-speed wireless Internet through a Wi-Fi hotspot that is built right into the vehicle. There are several implications for emergency preparedness:

  • With the transition from a 2G to a 4G LTE connection built into the framework the hotspot will offer superior signal quality making both voice and data stronger and faster. Signals will be lost or dropped less giving us less of a chance of being caught in a dead zone no matter where we are.
  • GPS signals may be more accurate and stronger.
  • Specially designed apps can be downloaded such as The Weather Channel giving us more accurate and up to date info on changing weather conditions

These were just a few that came to mind but more idea’s can be found on the OnStar page itself.

Here is a quick look at how The Weather Channel App will look in the new cars:

I am curious what you think of the latest technology in vehicles? Would you buy a car with features like this for safety reasons?

Disclosure: This blog post is part of a paid SocialMoms and OnStar blogging program. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own.

Top Preppers on Pinterest

The social networking site Pinterest is a a great place to get ideas on prepping, homesteading and self-sufficiency. Last March we wrote a post on the top 5 pinners on Pinterest which became wildly popular. This fall we are discovering some new pinners (to us) and want to share this resource with you all. So, without further ado, we present….

Top Preppers on Pinterest

Top Preppers on Pinterest

Of course, you know we are always going to list ourselves so those of you who are not yet following can start seeing the pins we share! Click on the picture of the profile to follow us and all of the preppers in this post!

Simply Preparing on Pinterest

Top Prepper on Pinterest

Glenn H. Levy on Pinterest

One of our favorite prepping friends, Mom With a Prep, suggested our Simply Preparing facebook page that we check out this monster prepping pinner and we sure weren’t sorry. Glenn focuses a lot on survival skills, weaponry and alternative shelters.

glenn levy-prepper on pinterest

Family Preparedness Board on Pinterest

Another one of our favorite boards is curated by Mom With A Prep. We were invited to contribute to this fine collection and are proud to do so. You will find lots of “quick tip” prepping posts links here.

family preparedness

Are You Prepared? Pinterest Board

ConnieSmith1 created a great Pinterest Board called Are You Prepared? You will be after reading through all the tips and tricks she posts here.

Are you prepared? pinterest board

Prepared Housewives on Pinterest

I love when people take the time to organize their board covers to make it easier for people to find things! I really need to do this but for now I will simply enjoy those pinners that are more organized than myself!

prepared housewives on pinterest

Backwoods Home on Pinterest

Backwoods Home is a print magazine that is coming to life on Pinterest. They post mostly their own uploaded photos and tips from the magazine to their Pinterest profile.

Backwoods Home on Pinterest

Of course, we still highly recommend our Top 5 Pinners For Prepping from last spring so click the graphic to visit them.

top 5 pinners to follow for prepping

 

We certainly don’t claim to be perfect and we are sure to have missed some great pinners! Who are they? Leave us their name and pinterest profile URL in the comments so we can check them out and maybe include them in our next roundup!

 

 

Unpredictable Winter Weather

Snow is starting to fall and that means unpredictable winter weather is upon us. Taking simple steps now to plan ahead for winter weather emergencies can help thwart a disaster. Here are three posts that can get you started in your winter weather preparations in and around the home.

But what if that unpredictable winter weather decides to wreak havoc when you are on vacation?

unpredictable winter weather

Many of us travel to either play in the snow or to escape the snow during the winter months. Here are some tips for airline travel preparedness.

  • Always carry 3 days worth of prescription and over the counter medications on you at all times. Airport delays happen frequently in the winter. Don’t check your medicine in your luggage. You may get stuck in an airport and you won’t have access to your checked bags.
  • Always wear  a solid pair of walking shoes on an airplane. I can’t tell you the number of times I cringe seeing people wear flip flops and slippers. Think about what you would do if you had to suddenly walk a long a distance with what you have on you. When you get on a plane always think through what you will do if you get stuck on the other end without your luggage.
  • Keep a change of clothes in your carry-on and include things that can be easily layered. Always carry an easy to pack jacket with you with a hood. A small collapsible umbrella is a smart choice as well.
  • Write down emergency phone numbers. If your cell goes dead, you drop it, it gets stolen, would you remember all the numbers you need?
  • Carry cash. Don’t count on ATM’s and credit card machines working. If weather is that bad power can easily be lost, taking down ATM’s and pay machines.
  • Wear multipurpose clothing when traveling. I am a big fan of the SCOTTEVEST line. Particularly this vest that I have. I can carry a lot of essentials on me safely and conveniently.
  • Load your important documents to a secure folder of a cloud service. If you use iPhone you can use iCloud for free or anyone can use Google Drive for free. I personally like DropBox for this. Take a photo of your drivers license, passport, and insurance cards.

Traveling by car can present a different set of challenges in unpredictable winter weather. Here are some tips for car travel preparedness.

  • It’s time to update your emergency road trip kit.  In addition to everything I suggest in that post, lets add:
      1. Mylar heat blankets and hand warmers.
      2. Ice scraper (it is mentioned in that post but I want to make sure you have it).
      3. Snow shovel.
      4. Siphon pump and gas can.
      5. Kitty litter for giving your tires traction in the ice and snow.
      6. Protein bars, water and ready to eat meals.
      7. Matches
      8. Light sticks
      9. Flares
      10. Cell phone signal booster and extra battery chargers like a Mophie.
  • Make sure someone knows where you are going, what time you expect to be there and what roads you are planning to travel.
  • Stay up to date on road conditions. Many states have apps now for your phone that will keep you up to date.
  • Set your phone settings to receive emergency alerts.
  • Turn on your geo locate on your cell phone so that the signal could be used to find you if necessary. Having apps like Find My iPhone or Verizon’s Family Locator service are perfect for this.
  • Make use of the many services offered for vehicles these days like GM’s OnStar features. There is an add-on mirror available now if you do not have a GM car. It does not have all the features of a built in unit but is better than not having the service. I use OnStar and always feel safe knowing someone is available at the touch of a button via a separate satellite phone that won’t go dead. They can geolocate my car and send help via GPS coordinates even if I am unresponsive after a collision. It’s like having a guardian angel in my car.

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