As a trucker, you should always have an emergency kit somewhere in your cab, because you never know when problems big or small will arise — and you need to be adequately prepared. As you might expect, such preparation requires a little more than just throwing a first-aid kit and some bottled water in a box.
The following tips should help you get this effort just right, and ensure that you can always rise to meet whatever challenges come up on the road:
1) Know your unique risk factors
Before every trip, you should look at the weather forecasts and generally get an understanding of the risks that could arise while you're en route, according to Truck Drivers Saving Money. For instance, if your trip will take you through tornado-prone areas, and it's the middle of tornado season, you need to know how to react when one arises, and pack your emergency kit accordingly. The same is true of blizzards that leave you stranded, hurricanes that could flood roads, earthquakes that damage highways and more.
2) Plan for yourself and your truck
It's one thing to pack all the food and water and clothing you may need if you get stuck in your cab for a day or two, but you need to think about what happens if your truck is damaged by the natural event that gets you stuck in the first place, Truck Drivers Saving Money advised. It's always a good idea to have a tool box on hand, of course, but here too, planning for specific risks is always a good idea.
3) Keep yourself visible
Along similar lines to the first two points, you must also consider how other motorists might behave in a bad situation, according to Gateway Supply. If you find the need to pull over or you just can't go any farther in your big rig, making sure you have plenty of reflective signs or other materials on your trailer will help other drivers spot you and react appropriately.
4) Duct tape always comes in handy
It's always a good idea to have some duct tape on hand; it has a variety of uses that could make a big difference in an emergency, Gateway Supply said. That could include patching or re-securing various parts of the vehicle, hanging up signs and more. You never know when that roll will come in handy.
5) Prepare to keep your mind occupied
In many emergencies as a trucker, you may find yourself stuck on the side of the road for hours or even days — and you have to pass the time, according to Semi Truck Driver. Make sure you bring along a book, a deck of cards or something else that will keep you busy and entertained while you wait for help to arrive. There's only so much you can listen to the radio, so always having a backup plan in mind will help you get through a tough situation.
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