How to Prepare for Survival in Your Car

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What if I’m Stranded in My Car?

Being prepared starts with things we do each day, not buying a ton of gear or stockpiling years worth of supplies. Some of the best preps are usually the easiest to overlook. Our means of daily transportation is one of the most ignored, but most important.

January 28, 2014 started out as a typical winter day in Alabama. The forecast called for some rain and possibly some sleet in the mid morning hours, however the roads and interstates were well above freezing so there wasn’t enough concern to elicit a school or work delay or closure. Somewhere around ten o’clock that morning sleet started falling at an alarming rate. While the road wasn’t at a freezing temperature, the sheer volume of the ice that was falling created a thick crust on top of the pavement much faster than the pavement could melt it away. Within two hours, the largest metropolitan area in the state was literally frozen in gridlock. All of the major highways and interstates were stopped and full of immovable vehicles. Those who had four wheel drive or even snow chains could do little to move because there was no way out of the traffic. Emergency vehicles were at a standstill as well. This led to people who were “just going to work” or “running to the store” being forced to stay in their vehicles for over 24 hours.

I was working in the towing industry during that storm and had the good fortune of being allowed to move through areas in a chained up six wheel drive wrecker that was treated as an emergency vehicle. Over the next 48 hours we worked almost constantly to move stuck vehicles and rescue stranded drivers all over the area. This was a real attention getter!!!

Pat McNamara, former Army Special Operation soldier, repeats the phrase “Mobility equals survivability” in his “Sunday Sentinel” Facebook videos. Keeping our mode of transportation as supplied as possible and as mobile, can greatly enhance our ability to deal with bad situations. While most of the motorists weren’t very mobile on that January day, many could have made things much easier on themselves had they prepared a little bit.

How Do I Prep My Vehicle?

One of the simplest things we can do to be prepared is keep as close to a full tank of fuel as possible. Keeping our vehicles at no less than half a tank of gas is a huge boost to our safety on the road. We can likely travel out of an area where we are faced with some sort of civil unrest without having to stop for fuel for several hundred miles. If we are in the case of those motorists in January of 2014, we could at least keep the car running in intervals to keep the temperature inside above freezing.

Having a dead battery is one of the most common car problems that we can prepare for. I doubt anyone who has been driving for very long hasn’t heard the dreaded “Click Click” of the dead battery when the key is turned. Having jumper cables is a good plan, however we may often find ourselves in a situation where hailing another motorist may be difficult, or even dangerous. The advancements in lithium ion batteries have made portable jump boxes small and easy to handle and give you an option to boost your vehicle off without the assistance of another car. If you don’t have one, give this one a close look,

Wee Go Booster Pack

Another way to be prepared better as we take to the highways is to have some basic medical supplies. Accidents and injuries do not come on schedule. I have witnessed motorists who had minor cuts and scrapes or some form of illness that an over the counter medication could help with as well as accident victims that needed the life saving aid of a tourniquet to stop blood loss. I will cover the concept of a “Go Bag” in another blog post, but we should always have a basic medical kit on board our vehicles when the need arises, whether its kept strictly in the vehicle or part of our go bag or EDC. Military style IFAK’s are helpful to have since they usually have life saving contents to stop major bleeding, but some training is required to be very effective with them. A basic automotive first aid kit is also helpful since it usually has the type of medicines and basic first aid that is needed for the most common issues we face on a daily basis. I prefer a combination of the two. I like having access to a tourniquet, clotting agent, and compression bandages, as well as simple things like bandaids, pain relievers and anti-diarrhea medicines. Take a look at the following kits to see what you might need to have handy.

Military Style IFAK

Basic first aid kit

Another Handy tool to have for ourselves or other motorists is a glass breaker/seat belt cutter tool. I have happened upon at least one driver who was involved in an accident and was locked inside the car, unconscious. I had to break out a car window with a pocket knife and received some minor cuts in the process. In a situation where a car lands in a waterway, breaking the window may be the only way to get out! Another issue with being in an accident and the seat belt tension devices locking and preventing us from releasing a trapped person, especially if the car is upside down. Here is a handy choice to have in an emergency,

Glass Breaker/ Seatbelt Cutter

Food and Water for Your Vehicle Emergency Kit

Other items that can make or break you during a bad situation are food, water, and toiletries. Being stuck in an isolated area and waiting for help doesn’t mean your body goes on break. You will still need fluids for hydration as well as nourishment for any activity you have to undertake such as walking to find help. It’s always good to have some form of non perishable food on hand in a vehicle and enough water or ways to purify water to last you a couple of days at least.

Check out my post on survival hydration, https://nickspreparedness.com/2020/07/19/survival-hydration/

Also check you my page on how to start prepping. There you’ll find information on basic water purification and MRE’s for easy, non-perishable meals,https://nickspreparedness.com/2020/07/14/how-to-start-prepping/

Stay safe on the road and visit often for more safety and preparedness information.

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4 thoughts on “How to Prepare for Survival in Your Car

  1. Pingback: Why is Fuel Scarce After a Disaster. | Nick's Preparedness

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  3. Pingback: What Should I Take if I Have To Evacuate? | Nick's Preparedness

  4. Pingback: How Can I Use A Winch For Recovery and Prepping Situations? | Nick's Preparedness

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