Regardless of your experience driving your truck cross-country, you might not be able to maneuver your vehicle through a natural disaster or severe storm. And breakdowns can pose their own slew of problems when you’re trying to make a deadline on your delivery. Fortunately, you don’t have to embark on your next route unprepared.
Before you put the pedal to the metal, read our emergency preparedness guide below. Here, we discuss which items you should keep stocked in your truck in case you experience or encounter any kind of emergency on the road.
Emergencies to Plan For
First, you should know exactly what kinds of emergencies you should plan for during each specific journey. Generally, though, you should prepare for the following scenarios
- Severe weather like heavy rain or snowstorms
- Traffic jams
- Truck breakdowns
- Road closures
- High winds
Many hazards will vary based on your location and the time of year. Before you hit the road, you can also check the National Weather Service or use an app to track specific weather conditions along your route.
Items to Stock
Regardless of which emergency situation you’re preparing for, you can stock several basic items in your truck to keep you covered.
Whether your truck breaks down on the side of the road or you simply need to tweak a few things on your rig, a basic toolkit can make all the difference in an emergency situation. Keep a hammer, various styles of screwdrivers (including a Phillips and flathead), wrenches, and pliers in your truck so you can do any necessary maintenance to get your vehicle to the nearest pit stop.
If you routinely perform mechanical work on your truck, you could amp up your tool kit with with more specific repair tools. This equipment can allow you to work more intensely on your vehicle (if circumstances allow) so you aren’t without transportation for long.
The clothing you keep in your emergency kit will depend entirely on the season and your routes. For example, if you travel during the winter season, stock your truck with a few pairs of wool socks, thick pants and shirts, warm hats, and gloves. But if your final destination is in a warmer climate, you should also include lighter clothing so you don’t overheat.
An extra pair of shoes can prove useful as well. Boots, for example, can keep your feet dry and warm in a snowstorm. And an extra pair of sneakers or work boots can protect your feet should your current pair become unwearable.
Every emergency kit should include food and beverages to keep you fueled and hydrated for two to five days. Stock up on non-perishable food you can eat without heating. For example, protein-based snacks (like peanut butter or protein bars) can sustain you if you get stuck in a traffic jam or on the side of the road for hours. Ramen noodles also make for a great crunchy treat and can last for a while in your emergency kit.
You should also store water, juices, and sports drinks in your truck to prevent dehydration and restore electrolytes.
Add a few small bottles of pain relievers, allergy pills, antacids, and other medications you use regularly to your kit. Likewise, if you use prescription medications to treat any health conditions, try to keep some in your kit to keep your health in good standing.
Include a flashlight, hand-crank radio, calling card, solar charger, blankets, duct tape, a tarp, a whistle, and a blade (like a knife or small hatchet) in your kit so you can call for help, build a makeshift tent, or otherwise care for yourself during a disaster. You can store these items in a five-gallon bucket that doubles as a portable toilet.
If you have room in your truck, also include a sleeping bag, a small set of dishes, a can opener, a first aid kit, towels, and washcloths. You could also pack a small bag of personal hygiene supplies to keep yourself clean and fresh during minor emergencies.
Use this guide to create your own emergency preparedness kit before your next long haul so that you’re prepared for unexpected scenarios or delays. You can also make your kit more specific to your preferences and needs. Don’t forget to rotate your items regularly. The last thing you need during an emergency is to have broken or inoperable tools and expired food, water, and medication in your kit.
And of course, should an emergency situation put your truck out of commission, you can count on Arrow Truck Sales to help you find the perfect truck to get you back on the road. Take a look through our inventory, then contact us when you’re ready to find your next big rig.