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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Vehicle Preparedness

We're working our way toward adding in a LOT of information on this site and I'm starting with a few baby steps aimed mainly at those who haven't done any preparedness planning. So those of you who are experts out there - hang with me!

I talk alot about vehicle prepping in my conversation with other moms that I know and meet. Most moms I know are out and about in their vehicles quite often - running errands, going to sporting events, going on field trips, going back and forth to work or play - you get the picture because you've been there. Some families, as you well know, spend more time in their vehicles than they do at home!

So let's think for a moment ~ What would you do if an emergency happened while you were in your car? Not just a flat tire, but a major emergency like encountering a flash flood or an earthquake or a tornado?

As we discussed in previous posts - some of my local emergencies in the West Tennessee area could be a tornado, earthquake, or train derailment. What would I do if one of these emergencies happened while I was out and about driving with my children? How would we cope and hope to survive?

We've seen images on TV of people in their cars when emergencies strike - flash flooding, earthquakes and the like - this is a real possibility when we spend so much time in our vehicles. So if it is a real possibility in your area, it pays to spend some time thinking about what you would do and how you could prepare.

It is for these reasons that I also keep a 72 Hour Kit in each of our vehicles. You can visit the previous post to see what is in our 72 Hour Kit for our family members. We just make up an additional kit for each vehicle and keep it in there. Twice a year we check ours - in the spring we add summer clothing for each family member and in the fall we replace the summer clothing with winter clothing for each person.

We happen to keep our Vehicle 72 Hour Kits in backpacks, just like our ones we keep at the house for each family member. An added plus - if we every had to evacuate our house for any reason at the last minute - if we threw our personal 72 Hour Kits into either vehicle, we'd automatically be doubling our 3 day survival items into 6 days because the Vehicle Kits are in place. Sounds like a great idea to me.

Added note: we never let our gasoline tanks in our vehicles go below 1/4 full. You never know when or where you might need to go or if there will be gasoline at the pumps when you get there. Keep at least 1/2 tank or more in your vehicles at all times.

In addition to our Vehicle 72 Hour Kits, here are some other essential items that should always be kept in your vehicle. You can keep these items in a small duffel bag, you could re-use one of those heavy zippered bags like bedspreads come in, you could organize these in small plastic boxes with snap on lids or small shaving kits with zippers - be creative and find what works for you, but please take some time to think about how you could prepare and then make sure you keep your safety items in your vehicle!

Essentials for your vehicle:

  • Flashlight and Spare Batteries

  • Blanket - wool is best as it repels water

  • Baby Wipes

  • Spare Tire, Jack and Fix-A-Flat

  • Tire Gauge - check your pressure at least weekly - not only does it keep you safe, but you'll get better gas mileage if your tires are inflated properly. All tires tell you right on the tire what the ideal PSI (tire pressure) is for that particular brand of tire.

  • Flare / Marker Light / Flasher Light / Light Stick

  • Water, at least 1 can of food and something to open it with!

  • Hand Sanitizer

  • Fire Extinguisher

  • Booster Cables

  • First Aid Kit and Trauma Kit (I'll be writing more about these soon)

  • Cell Phone and Vehicle Charger

  • LifeHammer Escape Tool - or similar item that has a Seatbelt Cutter / Window Breaker

  • Your Vehicle 72 Hour Kit
    1. Not that this in not the only list of items you could keep and other or additional items might be applicable depending on your location. Of course if you travel a lot in your vehicle, or for long distances, this list could be much longer - more food, a change of clothing, a spare pair of sturdy shoes, maps, winter hat, gloves, ice scraper, de-icer - use your head and carry what you'd need for any of your possible circumstances!

      For more reading and ideas check out this article in Backwoods Home Magazine - it tells how to put together a 10-day survival kit for your car for less than $25 - the author keeps everything in a hard-sided 6-pack size cooler with a handle. I prefer the backpack method because I think it would be easier to carry and keep up with my little ones at the same time if I had to leave my vehicle, but the cooler idea would work in many situations. You might also want to consider a wheeled-luggage type of kit.

      HOMEWORK: Make an attempt this week to create a Vehicle 72 Hour Kit for your vehicle(s).


      Bullseye said...

      Homework, now there's a good idea. Great post, got ya linked over at Kentucky Preppers now, sorry thought I had you linked already.

      Oh yea, you got and email coming at ya too.

      Prepared In TN said...

      Thanks, bullseye!

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