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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Emergency Kit for Professional Drivers
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Emergency situations for professional truck drivers usually fall under truck breakdowns, but there are also weather delays – especially snow and ice storms –infrastructure failures such as road closures and bridge crossing failures. But there are also power outages which may include the inability to use credit cards, access online bank accounts or pump fuel. And then there are traffic jams, not normally an emergency but go search on the Internet for the great Chinese traffic jam mid-August 2010. It extended for more than 60 miles and took 10 days to clear. There was less risk there as Chinese entrepreneurs were quick to set up a roadside city to service all the stranded motorists and truck drivers.
What we’re talking about here is surviving when you’re stranded and on your own. While personal survival must be top of the list, the professional driver is responsible to the trucking company and the owner of the freight. “Abandoning ship” is rarely an option.
If you think about it, the cab of a modern truck may not be the worst place to wait out a storm, earthquake or whatever. Leaving the truck may well be leaving the safety and security of the cab for something a lot worse.
Later, lists of provisions, clothing equipment are spelled out. But a word about tools: If you do your own maintenance, you’ll likely have everything you need on the truck – and more — already. A few basic tools, such as a hammer, set of flat and cross-head screwdrivers, simple set of open-end wrenches, hex-key set, needle-nose pliers and channel-lock pliers make you a lot more self sufficient that you’d be otherwise. And in the toolbox you need electrical repair stuff like crimpable wire connectors and insulating tape and some sort of crimping tool. Better yet, add shrink tubing to match the wire connectors.
Some heavy-duty jumper cables are bulky but invaluable when you, or a fellow driver, are faced with flat batteries.
And it’s not just on the road. According to the emergency kit specialist Survival Supply, the Department of Homeland Security recommends that everyone have an emergency kit on hand. Their kits are claimed to have all that’s recommended and more, housed in a  bright orange backpack. They contain food, shelter, supplies and protection from particulate contaminants. The full three-day supply of food and water has a shelf-life of five years, so you don’t have to worry about spoilage. And the emergency manual and the family communications plan will keep you informed as well as protected.
Here then are the things you might include in the kit. You might want to cut and paste it and then you can assemble it and check off the list as you go.
Emergency Kits:
Daily drivers (of all kinds):
  • Half a dozen bottles of water
  • Food for two days such as energy and protein bars
  • Extra medications if you take daily
  • Cell phone and dash charger
  • Flashlight
  • At least $50 cash
  • At least one credit card (Visa or MasterCard)
  • Up-to-date emergency contact numbers or contacts database
  • Smartphone with camera or disposable camera
Optional but advisable:
  • Change of underwear and socks  
  • Hat and sunglasses (summer)
  • Heavy jacket/coat and muffler, fur-lined hat (winter)
  • Sleeping bag
  • Band-Aids in small and large sizes, wet wipes, pain medication
  • Spare pair of comfortable shoes
  • Swiss army knife, Leatherman or other multi-function tool
  • Road atlas for truck routes
  • Headphones for smartphone music
Drivers home at weekends – The above, plus:
  • Add several gallons of water
  • More food, jerky, Try to stop and get some fresh fruit beginning each trip
  • Canned corn beef, chili or similar
  • Soup in cans
  • Can opener
  • Cooking device like a hot pot (to run from 12-volt outlet or via inverter)
  • Combination plate, bowl, cup and eating utensils
  • Sleeping bag and pillow
  • Inverter
  • Soap (personal as well as dishes)
  • Washcloth, hand towel and shower towel  
  • Wet wipes and kitchen paper towels
  • Clothing changes for extra days
  • Additional medical supplies and medications
  • Personal hygiene items and toilet paper
  • CB radio
  • At least $100 cash
  • Black plastic garbage bags
Long-Haul Truck Drivers:
  • Cooking device for broader meal variety
  • More clothing
  • Laundry supplies
  • Plastic bucket
  • Small sewing kit
  • Emergency candles and waterproof matches
  • Spare pair of glasses or contact lenses
  • Spare batteries for flashlight
With winter here, you should have a basic snow kit always in the truck: a blanket, gloves, hat, water, granola bars, flashlight and extra batteries, flares, wooden matches in waterproof container, compass, scissors, rope and first aid kit. Always carry Windex, rolls of paper towels and stash a big jug of windshield-washer fluid.
Many thanks to the websites  and Both are useful places to go look for support and this survival kit is drawn from advice there. The latter offers ready-assembled survival kits that could be a quick and easy way to get started.
 ~End of Article~
 The content, presentation or accuracy of the information in this article does not directly reflect the opinions of Shell Lubricants. Shell Lubricants expressly disclaims liability for any errors or omissions in the materials contained in this article. Shell accepts no liability for the content of this article, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.
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