Following a GPS? Here’s how you can prepare for if it stops working

MONTEREY, Va.A miraculous reunion after a family’s worst nightmare. A mother and daughter, Martha and Mary Bates, were found safe on Thursday four days after they went missing in Highland County.

The two were following GPS directions to a camp in West Virginia when they took a wrong turn and their car got stuck in the mud.

“We’ve been living in our car and going to the bathroom in the woods,” Martha said.

“We actually basically ran out of food,” her daughter, Mary said on Thursday. “So then we were like, ‘Okay, well now we got to go. The car’s dead. There’s no food.”

While technology has taken us to the moon and created artificial intelligence, when it comes to GPS, if you’re out of service, you’re out of luck.

AAA Mid-Atlantic Spokesperson Morgan Dean recommends you keep a map and a stocked emergency kit in your car at all times.

“You assume that cell phone’s going to work, that that GPS is going to connect and tell you the way to go. And sometimes it doesn’t,” said Dean.

When you’re packing an emergency kit, make sure you include things like a first aid kit, flashlight, a blanket, jackets, rain gear, nonperishable food items, and enough water for you, your passengers, and your pets.

Dean says you can share your live location with friends or family and it’s important to bring a portable charger.

“It’s really important to keep your phone plugged in and charging while you are driving so that it’s fully charged if you are stopped along the roadway,” said Dean.

Before you hit the road, plan out your trip. Take screenshots of the directions step-by-step or download the map so you can look at it even if you’re offline.

Dean’s last bit of advice: let someone know where you’re going and when you should get there.

“So that somebody else knows where you are and where you’re supposed to be traveling can really make a difference in that situation too,” said Dean.

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You can watch Lindsey during Virginia Today every weekend or as a reporter during the week!