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If you're planning a trip across the country--or anything more than a couple of hours--what happens if your car breaks down? Being stranded is not only stressful but costly to the point of becoming excessively expensive if you're not able to make certain decisions in a tense situation. Give yourself some logical and emotional padding with a few supplies that can calm you down, make the situation seem less dire, and move you towards a more responsible and informed recovery on the road.
Understand Your Phone's Emergency Potential
Travelers gained a wonderful new ally in the form of mobile devices. Not even 30 years ago, anyone stranded on the road would have no choice but to flag down someone for help, find a pay phone booth to make a call, or knock on someone's door to use their house phone.
The cellular phone in handheld, compact form represented a peak in terms of utility. They were lightweight, could last for days on a single battery charge, and worked fairly well--save for dropped calls and signal issues as the cellular tower networks grew.
Things are mostly better as far as communications as the 2010's go, but the devices aren't always better. Sure, you can still find flip or brick phones--even some new models for retro appeal--but most people with mobile devices are using smartphones.
Smartphones are less phones than they are computers--and that's not using the broad term of "a device that computes." These devices are miniaturized desktop and laptop computers and can use up a lot of power while generating a lot of heat when in full use.
Unfortunately, some of the best tools for emergency situations are also heavy power consumers. The global positioning system (GPS) function that pinpoints your location uses power, and apps used for navigation or research are also power draws. You need a way to use these apps to get a ride, find a mechanic, or find some kind of help without the device running out of power.
Keep Communications Up With Powered Devices
There are a few options when it comes to keeping up emergency communications. Different electrical products can be easier to carry around, or easier to use depending on how you set them up.
One of the easiest methods is using a travel charger. These chargers are usually multiple cellular batteries inside an enclosure with a control board. They can charge up your devices and should have an indicator for the charge level.
Along with a charger, you can buy multiple cables to connect multiple devices at once. This should only be done for emergency purposes; if you don't know when help is coming, chargers aren't for you and others to connect multiple devices to play games, watch movies, or do other non-emergency activities.
Getting a few backup batteries is also an option. Just be sure to keep a case with a lot of inner space to protect the batteries from direct sunlight. Especially on summer trips, batteries exposed to direct sunlight can explode.
Contact an emergency supply company like Koontz Hardware and travel electronics professional to discuss other helpful products for the road.