America’s love for dogs is getting stronger and stronger. In 2017, there were 89.7 million dogs living in household as pets. Our furry companions make life more joyful. Now that summer is approaching it is time to plan your next road trip with your best friend! With a little bit of planning, patience and a lot of love, your vacation will go smoothly!
- Check with the vet. Since he knows Fido good enough and holds his medical record, he’s the best person to talk to about your plans. You can also consider purchasing an identification microchip for your pet before a road trip. These chips are embedded beneath your dog or cat’s skin and provide your contact information. If Fido does run off, the chances of getting him back will be higher. While you’re at the vet, it is also a good idea to get a record of any vaccinations your pet has received, and any medication that might be needed for the trip.
- Get the right equipment. The two best ways to travel with your pet inside of your car are with harnesses and crates. Check out this list of top performing harness for your dog here.
- Few weeks before the big trip, start taking your pet on short car rides. This way, you can try out your travel equipment and see how great your dog is doing in a moving car.
- Plan wisely your itinerary by looking for dog-friendly-stops. You can use com, a road trip planner that will list all of the dog-friendly hotels, campgrounds, restaurant, activities and more. They also list beaches and off-leashes parks, veterinarians and pet supply stores. Just to give you an idea, experts suggest stopping every two hours to let your pet walk around and relieve itself. Best way to prevent pet accidents and discomfort!
- Pack his belongings! Collar, leash, food, water, bowls, medications, blankets and pillows. Everything to make him feel safe.
+ If you were looking for a pet-friendly new ride, check out the best cars for dogs.
Why is it important to restrain your dog in the car
Unrestrained pets can become missiles, injuring you or your passengers. An 80-pound pet colliding with your seat at 30 mph exerts 2,400 pounds of force. Unrestrained pets can also be ejected into traffic, endangering themselves and other motorists.
On the road
- Some dogs get very excited to be in the car. You know, the jowls and ears flapping in the breeze kind of happiness. Right before hitting the road, take him on a nice walk to relax him.
- Make him feel comfortable and safe. To do so, make sure that his harness is tighten and fits properly.
- Act like usual. Do not use the sad nor apological voice. Stay positive and calm.
- Turn off power windows!
- Try to stop ~ every 2 hours. When stopping, always keep an eye on him and never leave him unattended inside of your car. Many dogs die each year because of heatstroke. More and more places are making it illegal to leave a pet in a hot car. If you leave your pet inside you might come back to a car with a broken window, no pet, and a police officer with handcuffs waiting for you!
- Give him snacks that are high in proteins.
Enjoy your trip 🐶
Resqme, Inc. was one of the many businesses and affected by the Thomas Fire in Southern California during the month of December 2017. Several of our employees had to evacuate and were in the danger of losing their homes. During this fire we learned how important it is to be prepared for emergencies that may occur in our county, and we want to share this wisdom with our customers. When a fire like this one hits, time is of the essence. Here is a to-do list to help you be ready to evacuate if you need to.
Things to do ahead
- Sign up for a local alert system: receiving timely and updated information about weather conditions, fire directions and evacuations are essential during a wildfire. To find out what alerts are available in your area, you can do an Internet search with your town, city, or county name and the word “alerts”; you can go to the website for your local emergency management or public safety office; or you can contact these offices by telephone.
- Remember to always act as the fire would come your way. Being ready is a great way to ensure your safety.
- Make a list of what to pack. It’s better to write it down ahead of time to avoid forgetting anything important.
- Assemble an emergency kit before a wildfire or another disaster occurs. Plan to be evacuated for at least three days. This kit should include:
– P95 or N95 masks to avoid breathing inhaling hazardous particles
– Important documents (birth certificates, passports, etc.)
– Three-day supply of food and water and change of clothing
– An extra set of car keys, credit cards, cash or traveler’s checks
– Map marked with at least two evacuation routes
– Prescriptions or special medications, extra eyeglasses or contact lenses
– First aid kit
– Battery-powered radio and extra batteries
– Sanitation supplies
– If you own pets, get food and water.
- Open your garage doors and gates. Fill the car gas tanks and park the vehicles nose-out.
- Receiving updated information is critical. A battery-powered radio tuned to local stations will help you stay updated in case of a power outage. You can purchase NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards.
- Know your escape routes. Have a backup plan in case roads are closed. Also, have a safe destination planned, such as a friend’s house or an evacuation center. A Family Communication plan will allow all family members to have access to the same information if separated during an evacuation.
- Have fire extinguishers on hand and train your family on how to use them. Ensure that your family knows where to locate the shut-down controls for your gas, electric, and water.
=> You can download an official home-evacuation checklist here.
If you have few hours to evacuate
- Assemble supplies. Grab your emergency kit and add last-minute items: passports, phones, chargers, laptops, easily carried valuables. Also, grab what you would miss! Everything that has a special place in your heart: pictures, paintings, a special piece of clothing or a plush… We all have different stories and memories that speak to us. Put everything in the trunk.
- Wear long pants and long sleeves shirt to protect you against the heat and the ash. Provide every member of the family with a flashlight and a respirator mask.
- Share your location with your family and friends. You can use the Google Maps feature that allows you to share your current location for few days or more.
- Turn off your gas when leaving.
- Snap pictures of every room in your house and your yard: you might have to use them for insurance purposes.
- If you have enough time, give your home the best chance of surviving a wildfire. To do so, you can irrigate your roof and property if you have a pool and a pump. Remove dead leaves and clear the gutters. Gather up flammable items from the exterior of the house and bring them inside (patio furniture, children’s toys, door mats, trash cans, etc.). You can also leave buckets of water around your property for the animals.
- You don’t really need to unlock your doors and windows. If the firefighters need to enter, they will find their way in, whether the house is locked or not (that’s a tip given by a firefighter!).
- Check on your neighbors.
How to stay updated
You can monitor the fires and the air quality on this interactive map.
Google also has a crisis map that shows you the active wildfires and the voluntary and mandatory evacuation zones. Google’s dynamic maps are worth bookmarking, so you can stay up to date with the latest updates from affected areas.
Another great source of the latest info would also be your County/City Twitter account.
Download the the Wildfire is Coming, Are You Ready to Go! brochure from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
Our hearts go out to everyone affected by the Thomas Fire and other wildfires.
We also want to thank all of the firefighters for their brave and hard work to fight the fires and keep everyone safe.
This article was written using content and advice from the Santa Barbara Independent Magazine, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection website and personal experience of the author.
Summer is here, which means new adventures are ahead! And so we’d like to share our ultimate summer bucket list with you. Of course, summer marks the start of barbecuing season, camping, campfires, berry picking and wearing white slacks, but what about taking some fun road trips?
Plan your next road trip!
There are many road trip planner websites to help you find the perfect spot! Plan your trip using an online planner such as RoadTrippers.com. Depending on what you like, you might stop at an amusement park, for a hike, or end up at the beach. RoadTrippers.com even offers to show you “Weird stuff”, and who doesn’t like seeing cool, weird stuff?
With MyScenicDrives.com, find a beautiful scene according to the State you are currently in. It also automatically divides your trip into days and gives you the option of sharing what you’re doing with your loved ones.
If you want to take the perfect shot and become the next Instagram guru, we might direct you to TripMaker.com. From here, select the Picture Perfect check-box and add them to your trip. Et voila!
To stay or to go?
Okay, nice view and all, but by now you must be getting hungry. How about we take a road trip to eat something delicious? Roadfood.com is hands down the best guide to road trip food. Now a website, the guide was originally a book that came out in 1977 when the writers Jane and Michael Stern started documenting American regional food. It then turned into a magazine column in Gourmet, and several more books, and now is an online database of great meals that you can find along highways, in small towns and city neighborhoods. Let’s pick one (or a bunch?), and make it a summer goal to get there! 
If you have a good amount of vacation time, why not try taking the ultimate US road trip, that has been defined by an algorithm and represents the optimal, most beautiful route across the country? Consider giving it a try, since it includes 50 points of all American awesomeness. Check out the interactive map here.
How to prepare for the best Summer ever?
During the Summer, nobody wants to think twice…so let’s get it right the first time! This summer, AAA (the American Automobile Association) predicts that more than 7 million drivers will have to be rescued from the side of the road. And it’s not only because of the heat: “Summer driving is very taxing on a vehicle, and the heat can affect a number of your car’s systems. But a lot of Americans also are not taking the steps that they could for preventative maintenance on their vehicle,” says AAA’s Director of Public Affairs. In fact, dead batteries, flat tires and vehicle lockouts are the main reasons that people call AAA during the summer. More than 3 million drivers will experience significant vehicle issues this summer that require being towed to a repair facility. With low-profile tires or no spare tire, many cars are especially susceptible to roadside trouble. To learn more about tires, check out our blog post “7 Types of Tires Tread Wear and What They Say About Your Driving”.
“You can minimize the risk by planning ahead and preparing properly!”
This summer, be a prepared driver!
- Have your car looked over by a mechanic before your trip
- Bring an extra car key to not be locked out
- Remember snacks and water
- Pack your phone and charger
- Pack an emergency, first aid kit. Our 4 lifesaver prepareme kits conveniently combine high quality safety tools and must-have first aid items to allow for a wide variety of protection and preparedness when seconds count! They are the only first aid kits on the market to include the Made in USA award winning car escape tool, resqme. They easily fit in the trunk, glove box, back pack or wherever you need them!
Get them here!
Although the calendar says winter in the Northern Hemisphere doesn’t actually start until Dec. 21, the weather forecast seems to communicate otherwise. The extreme weather in parts of the United States has even made headlines recently as “colder than mars,” according to figures from Nasa.
When extreme weather is headed your way, make sure you and your family are prepared for Old Man Winter’s worst. Ready.gov gives some helpful steps about what to do 1) before snowstorms and extreme cold 2) during snowstorms and extreme cold and 3) after snowstorms and extreme cold. When you receive a weather storm alert from the National Weather service, take heed of the following:
Be Prepared for Extreme Weather
Is your car ready for winter? As winter approaches, add the following supplies to your emergency kit and car:
- Rock salt to melt ice
- Snow shovels
- Emergency gear, like insulating blankets, crank flashlight, updated first-aid supplies
- Have your mechanic check antifreeze, heater and defroster and tires. For a complete list of items to check, visit https://www.ready.gov/winter-weather
Create a family plan
- Your family might be in different places when a storm or extreme weather hits, so know how you’ll contact one another if cell towers or internet isn’t working
- Remember pets: bring them inside during cold weather and you should have a plan for them, as well, and even make them their own emergency kit with extra food.
Know How to Weather the Storm
Try to stay indoors and off the roads, unless it’s necessary.
- If you do have to go out, stay on the main roads and never cross road closures or flooded roads! Let someone know when you’re leaving and expected arrival time. It’s a good idea to let them know your route, too, in case you get stuck and they need to send help.
If you’re stuck in a vehicle during a blizzard, pull off the road and turn on hazard lights.
- This is when your prepping will come in handy. You’ll likely be relying on the contents of your emergency kit to get you through until help arrives.
Most importantly, experts say you’ll want to learn from every storm. Keep your emergency supplies up to date and stocked in your house and in the car. For ready-made emergency kits stocked with our lifesaving tools and devices, visit our prepareme kits page.
We all hope that we will never have to deal with a mechanical malfunction while behind the wheel of a vehicle, but every driver should know what to do during an emergency such as when the brakes fail. While these situations might be rare, taking a little extra time to learn how to properly control a vehicle with no brakes will help you avoid a catastrophic accident.
Do Not Panic When the Brakes Fail
The situation might seem frightening at first, but you must stay focused, alert, and calm. Panicking will only increase your risk of making a mistake that could result in serious injuries. You can begin by simply taking your foot off the gas and glancing in all directions for nearby cars or pedestrians. If you have cruise control on, then you should calmly switch it off before doing anything else.
Check for Brake Pedal Blockage
In some situations, drivers are not able to press the brake because there is an object under the pedal. When brake pads or brake lines are damaged, the brake pedal generally feels soft or mushy. A stiff brake pedal is not typically the result of a mechanical problem. You should try to feel for any obstructions under the brake with your feet instead of taking your eyes off the road to look down. At no point should you lean down or look down to see if there is an object under the pedal.
Downshift Into Lower Gears
Downshifting can be done with automatic transmissions as well as manual transmissions. For an automatic vehicle, a driver should start by slowly shifting into the third or second gear. Once your vehicle has begun to lose momentum, you can then move to the first gear. By doing this, your engine’s transmission will actually become a brake. The exact same process can be done with manuals by slowly lowering gears until the vehicle comes to a stop. When doing this, you should remember that putting the vehicle in the lowest gear right away could compromise your control so make sure to downshift in stages.
Pump the Brakes
Many modern vehicles have anti-lock brakes that essentially “pump” the brake lines automatically. For those who have a vehicle without anti-lock brakes, gently pumping the brakes could build up enough pressure to stop the vehicle. Three or four pumps should create enough pressure in the line for the brakes to begin working. If the vehicle does not slow down after three or four pumps, then you should move on to using the parking brake.
Use the Parking Brake
The parking brake is designed to keep a vehicle from rolling down a hill after it is parked, but it can also be used when your brakes fail. Applying the parking brake must be done slowly and methodically as well. Those who pull on the handle as hard as they can, risk losing control of the vehicle. Parking brakes are typically nothing more than a second brake pad that applies pressure to one or more wheels. They can usually stop a vehicle if the brakes fail, although bear in mind that it will take longer than usual to come to a stop because they only stop the rear wheels.
Work Your Way Out of Traffic
Now that the vehicle has begun to slow down, you must try to work your way out of traffic. The best way to do this is to turn on your emergency lights to show the other drivers that you do not have complete control over your vehicle. When you are making your way toward an exit or off of the road, you should use your lights and horns to alert the other drivers. If the situation calls for it, then you might need to use guardrails, grass, or soft sand to slow down your vehicle with friction.
Pull Over to a Safe Spot
The vehicle should not be turned off until you are at a complete stop. Attempting to turn off your vehicle before you are at a stop could affect the power steering and make it difficult to turn. Drivers should avoid parking their vehicles around corners or blind spots if possible. Even if the brakes begin working again, you must not attempt to drive your vehicle. The entire brake system must be thoroughly inspected by a professional mechanic before getting back on the road.
The single best way to avoid a dangerous situation where your brakes fail is to have your car inspected and serviced as often as possible. As a general rule, drivers should have their brake pads inspected every time they change their oil. Depending on how often you drive, this maintenance might be necessary every 3,000 miles. Drivers should also be wary of any warning signs that their brakes might be damaged or worn. This includes a “soft” brake pedal, squealing sounds, and shuddering when the brakes are applied.
Author: David Moss is an automotive writer from Detroit
Would you be prepared if something went wrong while you were driving? We call it “car prepping” and luckily, just a few items can make you far more prepared should you encounter trouble on the road. So check out the 10 things you should always have in your car to guarantee you’ll be ready for anything!
Source: Driving Test VIC : Driving Test VIC is an online resource to assist people preparing for all three Victorian licensing tests. The site’s resources were designed to inform and motivate – giving you the best chance to pass on your first attempt!
Car prepping 101: The basics
Whether it’s to get you started after your battery goes flat or to help out another driver in need, jumper leads are a must have in all cars.
Spare tire (with tools)
A flat tire could leave you stranded. Making sure you have an inflated spare and tools to change a flat could save you hours of time and a lot hassle. This is a basic of car prepping.
Your phone is your most valuable lifeline in an emergency. A charger could be the difference between a minor inconvenience that’s sorted in minutes and a major hassle that lasts for hours.
Glove box or console
The simple items in a first-aid kit could help a first-responder save a life in an emergency situation. Outside of that, it’s always handy to have some medical supplies nearby. Um, car prepping 101.
Glove box or back seat
Water and non-perishable food
Depending on where you breakdown, help could be a while away. Being fed and hydrated during a long wait for help will make that stretch of time a lot more comfortable.
Cash for emergencies
Money is universal and will never be declined at the most inconvenient time. Whether it’s fuel, food or a phone call for help – emergency cash can save you in a pinch.
Glove box or console
Torch (Flashlight) and spare batteries
If you need to stop at night, you’ll want to be able to see. A torch is better than your phone’s flash and phone battery is best saved for other emergencies.
Glove box or console
Blankets and spare clothes
Blankets come in handy during a wintery night in your broken down car. After changing a tire in wet weather, the spare clothes will keep you warm and dry.
Pen, paper and disposable camera
These items will allow you to collect all the details and evidence you need for insurance after an accident. They’re essentially a backup in case your phone isn’t working.
Glove box or console
Remember, real preppers know how to read a map without GPS.
Although less and less common, physical maps and street directories never lose signal or run out of battery. Keep a good old-fashioned map of your state just in case.
Side door compartment
School is out and summer is the time when families hit the road together for that memorable family vacation. As you plan your road trip and route your destinations, make sure your car has the appropriate first-aid and emergency kit contents and do a maintenance double check to ensure your car is in tip-top shape for the open road.
Ever since I was little, I have always looked forward to vacationing with family and friends. Growing up, we took a lot of road trips because we lived in a very central location to many awesome places. Sure, flights will get you to your destination in a more convenient and sometimes cheaper way, but road trips are a perfect family bonding experience. Check out three road trips across America that you should take with your kids before they are too old to enjoy playing “I Spy” in the car.
Washington D.C. is the perfect road trip for kids because it combines learning with fun. There is an abundance of museums, monuments, attractions and sporting events available in D.C. for your whole family to enjoy. There are so many kid-friendly attractions that offer hands-on experiences.
What to See and Do: Smithsonian Museums, American Art Museum, National Air and Space Museum, National Museum of American History, National Museum of Natural History, National Museum of the American Indian, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, World War II Memorial, Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial, The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, The Korean War Veterans Memorial, Pentagon Memorial, The National Zoo, The National Archives, The International Spy Museum
Road Trip to the Coasts
I have very fond memories of enjoying summers at the beach. Whether you decide to road trip it to Florida, the Carolinas, or California, you are bound to have some fun in the sun. The great thing about going to the beach is that they are in abundance across the U.S. so you can choose the one closest to you. Just grab your swimsuit, sunscreen and sunglasses and be a beach bum with your family!
What to See and Do: the ocean, mini-golf, outlet shopping, ice cream shops, the pool, seafood restaurants, ocean activities: parasailing, kayaking, banana boat rides, scuba diving, dolphin watching
Disney World or Disneyland
Who doesn’t love Mickey and Minnie? While you can enjoy Disney at any age, there’s nothing like seeing your child’s face light up when they see their favorite Disney character in person. Visiting Disney World and Disneyland can be quite an expensive trip, so opting for a road trip instead of flying can save you a lot of money and help you cut some expenses. The Disney experience is a trip that your family will never forget!
What to See and Do: Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, character experiences, water parks, restaurants, shows, parades.
Be Sure to Prepare
So, in order to make a road trip successful, proper planning ahead and smart packing is important. Because you will be spending a lot of time in your car with your family, you should bring safety items like an emergency kit as well as snacks, blankets, and items to keep your kids entertained. You should make sure that your kit includes first aid items as well as items like a flashlight, whistle, and jumper cables as well as a spare tire in case your car breaks down.
Rest and Relaxation v. Drowsy Driving
Be sure that you get proper rest before getting on the road, because long periods of driving can cause you to be drowsy. Also, try to make sure there is as least one person awake with the driver to keep their mind occupied to stay safe and prevent accidents. A good option to have in your car is an alertme “stay awake” device that can help alert you if you dose off. The alertme is also included in some of the kits.
Now that you’re fully prepared and inspired to take the road trip your kids will be talking about for years, take a photo of your family with your resqme tool, use #resqme, and show us what’s on your keychain!
Happy road tripping!
Author: Samantha Tung handles online media relations for Caliber Collision. She regularly produces content for a variety of lifestyle and automotive blogs, and in her spare time, she enjoys taking road trips and traveling.
Flood Safety Awareness
Recent flooding around the country claimed the lives of many folks who potentially had very bright futures. Flooding can happen in an instant, quickly overtaking your car, but often people ignore road closure signs and drive into flooded roads at their own peril. And when your vehicle becomes stranded in water, it can be easy to panic and make a deadly mistake. Do you exactly what to do if you’re vehicle loses power in the water? Follow these exact steps and share this lifesaving message with your community.
Know the Facts and How to Escape
Lifesaving Testimonial: 16-yr-old driver flips car upside down into water and escapes using her resqme tool to break the window and crawl out!
Her father sent this testimonial to us: “I just wanted to thank you for making this product. Your glass breaker saved my 16 year old daughter today. She rolled her car into a brook and the car went down and if it wasn’t for this product she may have not been with us anymore. She quickly pulled it off her keychain and broke the side window and climbed out. Thank you”
As a car owner, you dutifully schedule your tune-ups at a local mechanic, take your vehicle in for service when the tires are low and call for help when the battery is dead. While mechanics are great for fixing more serious issues with your vehicle, there are several DIY auto fixes and general maintenance that even beginners can successfully tackle. Check out the following three DIY auto fixes:
Check the Oil
Oil is the lifeblood of your vehicle. Without it, the engine will not be well-lubricated and can become damaged. As The Savvy Gal notes, checking your oil on a regular basis is one of the smartest and easiest things you can do for your car. All that you need is a clean rag and a level parking spot. Make sure your engine has cooled for at least one hour and then open the hood. The oil dipstick is often orange and has the word “oil” clearly marked. Pull the dipstick out, wipe it clean and put it back into the oil container. Remove the dipstick a second time and look for two marks near the bottom—the visible oil should be between the two of them. If it’s below the bottom mark, your car needs a good drink of motor oil. Check your owner’s manual for the type and amount of oil, and add in one quart at a time, up to about three-fourths of what the manual suggests.
Change a Tire
As anyone who has ever gotten a flat tire in the middle of nowhere knows quite well, it is not a fun experience. While you can call for help, you’ll get back on the road a lot quicker if you can change the flat yourself. The best way to prepare for this experience is in the comfort of your own driveway on a day when the weather is pleasant. Print out instructions from the DMV website on how to change the tire, and check out YouTube for a video or two that shows you exactly what you need to know. Then, roll up your sleeves, grit your teeth and practice jacking up your car, removing the tire’s lug nuts and taking off the old tire. Check the spare to be sure that it’s well-filled with air, and put it on your car. Try this a few times until you are comfortable with the process.
Change the Air Filter
It’s important to change the air filter in your vehicle’s engine regularly. Dirty filters cause poor engine performance and lower gas mileage. Your mechanic typically changes the filter during regularly scheduled tune-ups, but it’s certainly a task you can master. Check the owner’s manual for how often the air filter should be changed and which type is best for your car. Open the hood and look for the filter. Cars that are less than 20 years old usually have their filter in a black casing with clips on the side. Remove the clips and note how the filter is placed in the case, and remove the dirty filter. Put the new filter back in and replace the lid and the clips.
A Few Words About Tools
To do these car maintenance repairs, you need the proper tools. Dummies.com has a great list of suggested supplies, including a durable plastic tool box and a variety of tools including Phillips and flathead screwdrivers, a socket wrench set and several other wrenches, including combination, torque and adjustable varieties. To shop for these tools, check out the Sears website. The company offers a huge selection of wrench sets that are ideal for DIY auto maintenance as well as all the other tools you need to keep your car happy and healthy.
By Social Monsters