Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Friday, August 26, 2011

How to Create an Emergency Road Kit for Your Car

Having an emergency road kit may mean the difference between sitting on the side of the highway waiting for a tow truck or being able to make your way to your destination.

  1. Use a cardboard or plastic box to keep everything in so it doesn't roll around in the trunk and you can easily find what you need.

  2. Buy a first aid kit, or create one yourself. Items to consider are bandages, first aid spray, roll gauze, cosmetic puffs or squares (for applying antiseptic), antihistamine, medical tape, aspirin, tylenol, or some ibuprofen.

  3. Include a AAA or roadside emergency card with a calling card (at least $10). Make sure you have the card information in braille or large print. Don't forget your magnifyer.

  4. Throw in all the necessary equipment to change a tire: working jack, spare tire (with air in it!), lug nut wrench or tire iron, pipe for leverage. Most of this should already be stored in its designated place in the car's trunk or hatchback.

  5. Include some kitty litter for traction on ice or snow.

  6. Have a flashlight and radio with fresh batteries.

  7. Include triangle reflectors and a strobe light. Some have options such as a magnetic base, 3 color lenses, built-in flashlight and a tripod. Small and light, most use 1 D battery & can be seen for 3 miles.

  8. Include rags and a funnel.

  9. Purchase all the necessary fluids: 2 qts. of oil (10W-30), a gallon of water and antifreeze, brake fluid, power-steering fluid (if applicable), and automatic transmission fluid (if applicable).

  10. Add flat and Phillips-head screwdrivers, pliers and an adjustable wrench (only to be used in an emergency. Adjustable wrenches can easily round the head of bolts).

  11. Spend the extra money and include cables no shorter than 12 feet. You never know the configuration of the vehicle you may come across.

  12. Pack a jug of water and a cup (or even powdered drink mix) in the trunk. It's refreshing if you're stuck for a while. Also, leaving and occasionally changing a case of soda is handy for less critical thirst-quenching occasions.

  13. Include Duct tape which can be used for leaking hoses, etc.

  14. Include a small box of wash & dri towels.

  15. Toss in work gloves or latex gloves, a blanket, spare fuses and a can of Fix-a-Flat.

If traveling in the winter, include a coffee can with candles, paper towels, and maybe a bag of coffee. If the car isn't running, the candles will generate some heat and light. They could also be used to heat the can for coffee. Don't forget to include a lighter or matches.

You may be way out somewhere and decide to nap with the engine running for heat or air. Keep an alarm clock in your car to wake you.

If a belt breaks, an old pair of pantyhose can be used as a replacement.

Invest in a mobile phone charger that plugs into the cigar lighter socket of your car. Murphy's Law ensures that the more severe your emergency, the flatter your mobile phone battery will be.

Talking First Aid Kit

Carl Augusto of the American Foundation for the Blind Blog posted the following about this great product.

I think it's always important to keep safety in mind, so I thought I'd let you know about a new product from intelligentFirstAidT, the First Aid "talking" Kit. The Kit includes nine injury-specific packs to help treat common injuries, including Bleeding, Head & Spine Injury, and Shock. The packs are individually labeled and color-coded, which I love because it would help someone with low vision easily distinguish the packs. The best part, though, is that with the press of a button, the audio component attached to each card provides step-by-step instructions to manage the wound. Situations often become chaotic when a loved one, an acquaintance, or even you, experiences a minor injury. With this tool, people with low vision can remain calm and have an idea of how to handle things without worrying about reading any print.

Check out the intelli gentFirstAidT website to purchase the product or get more information. The site even allows you to listen to a sample of the audio component of the kit.

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