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There is no better way to travel than in a rental RV from Cruise America. The adventurous fun and family memory making makes the trip an excellent opportunity to make memories that will last a lifetime.

However, like anything in life, it is always good to have an emergency plan in place. It doesn’t have to be something catastrophic to be considered an emergency, but it’s always important to remember Murphy’s law, and plan accordingly. It’s better to be prepared for an emergency and not have to use the plan, than to be unprepared and need a plan!

Here are a few tips to help you make proper preparations for an emergency situation …

Let Somebody Know

Make sure that first responders know where and how to reach you – Ask a friend or family member if you can put them down as your emergency contact. Leave them with your travel itinerary, and make sure it provides the following info:

-The names and contact info of those in your group
-A description of the RV you are traveling in, as well as any cars or boats you bring along with the make, model, and plate number
-Your departure time and your expected time of arrival there, and back home
-Your detailed route and planned stops and activities
-What equipment or supplies you are carrying
-Your expected destination and your estimated arrival time
-The RV park’s emergency phone number in case your contact doesn’t hear from you when expected

Create an emergency plan

While hopefully you will never need it, it is wise to always develop an emergency plan in case of loss or injury. Here are a few tips:
-When exploring as a group, try to always stay together, and carry whistles in case you get lost or need help
-Be sure to use the buddy system
-Instruct children to hug a tree if they get lost, and make sure the adults know to just stay put if they become disoriented or lost (unless there is a threat of imminent danger)
-Make sure that everyone in the party knows the route, and refrain from taking shortcuts
-Carry a first aid kit
-Make sure that everyone in the group is physically capable of completing the activity

If someone in your group should get lost

In the event that someone becomes separated from the group and lost, here are the steps to follow:

-Be sure to call 911, and tell the operator when and where the individual or group was last seen, what they were wearing, and any -medical conditions that any of them may have
-If it is not possible to call 911, flag down any other hikers and ask them to contact the park rangers
-If there are no other hikers and you must split up to search, be sure to use the buddy system, and send someone back to alert the park rangers

In case of an injury

In the event that somebody in your group gets injured, here are some steps to follow:

-Make sure that the injured party is comfortable and safe.
-Assess the type of injury that has occurred, and what level of medical care is required. This will help you decide if you need to call 911 or not.
-If you must call 911, let them know what your current location is, the type of injury sustained, any medical conditions the patient may have, and be sure to follow the instructions given by the 911 operator.
-If the emergency involves minor scrapes and abrasions, utilize the first-aid kit you should have with you. Treat the wound as soon as possible to avoid the chance of infection.
-If the wound involves a twisted or sprained ankle, do your best to get it stabilized and elevated.
-If the injured is not mobile, try to get other people to help get him or her back to camp. If first responders are on the way, then allow them to worry about transporting them.

Be prepared for the worst!

Make sure to carry these contingency items if you are planning an outdoor excursion. Here is a list of the top ten items to have available to you:

-Navigation equipment such as maps, a GPS unit and a compass.
-Protection from the sun, as well as insects. Items like sunscreen, insect repellant, a hat and sunglasses are invaluable while outdoors.
-Always bring extra layers of clothing to protect you from the cold, the rain and the wind.
-Always carry provisions for shelter, such as a space blanket, a bivy or a tarp.
-Be sure to carry a light source, such as a flashlight or headlamp.
-Have a first aid kit that includes the basic medical supplies.
-Make sure that anyone who requires special medication has it with them in case they need it.
-Bring along something with which to create a fire, like waterproof matches, a lighter or flint and steel.
-Carry a little extra food and water in case you or someone else is in need.
-Be sure to have some basic tools, such as a knife, multi tool, duct tape, etc.
-Have some sort of communication device. Cell phones are great if they get reception wherever you are, but if not, a personal l-locator beacon or a satellite phone is a good idea.

RV camping is as great time, especially in an RV rental from Cruise America. But, like anything else in life, it requires some contingency preparation. Think of Murphy’s law, and make sure that in your case, it doesn’t apply!

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