Whether you live in or any other part of the world, you should be prepared for severe weather – especially on the road. Even if you are positively certain of the weather forecasts along your route, you should be prepared in the event of a surprise storm – rain or ice, hurricane or blizzard – and for a couple of simple reasons.
Your body needs warmth
The human body requires a stable temperature of 97-99 degrees Fahrenheit. This haemostatic balance can be disrupted by periods spent in extreme cold, as almost anyone knows – but temperatures that are just short of comfortably cool can be deceptive. In the air, you lose heat through your head – more so than from the rest of your body. Wearing a hat or a scarf if you find yourself trapped in cold weather is crucial.
Prolonged exposure to water that does not feel cold (even as warm as 80 degrees Fahrenheit) can lead to hypothermia. You lose heat through the skin rapidly in cool water, which is why cold-water activities such as scuba diving and kayaking encourage the use of wet or dry suits.
Always keep yourself hydrated:
While you can survive without permanent organ damage if you do not eat for a few days, your body requires moisture. Going for more than a day – or even for more than a few hours – without liquid can lead to extreme thirst and discomfort. After a prolonged time, the body experiences headaches, dizziness, delirium, and a fatal decrease in blood pressure. Water is preferable to any sports drink – but it can be hard to come by if you are stranded in a storm in your vehicle.
Here’s all you have to do:
Anyone and everyone who plans on driving any distance should pack an emergency tote. Large plastic bins with waterproof covers are available for just a few dollars in any department store. Place it in your trunk or on the floor in the back seat. If you’re going on a long trip or have several passengers coming with you, be sure to update, refresh, and add contents to your survival bundle. It may mean the difference between life and death.
Below are a few suggestions. Feel free to use them as a checklist – or to add your own.
- Blankets (1-2 per person, preferably thermal)
- Towels (2-3 per person)
- Water (12-16 pack, bottled)
- Fresh change of clothes (1 per person. Gloves, hat and scarf in cold weather)
- Nonperishable food (trail mix, cereal bars, granola, beef jerky, hard candy)
- Flashlight and batteries (or a mechanical flashlight – check out faradayflashlight.com
- First-Aid Kit
- If you are building your own First Aid kit, you should include:
- Adhesive tape
- Rubbing alcohol – or – hand sanitizer
- Painkiller (acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or aspirin)
- Medication (on a trip-by-trip basis. Include your epi-pen or pseudoephedrine if you are prone to severe allergic reactions)