There’s always lots of talk about how to prepare your home for disasters, which is important. But what if you have to evacuate? When preparing for an emergency, don’t forget your getaway vehicle! Here are some tips to prepare your car for emergencies:
• Keep it stocked: A car that is well-prepared for emergencies should carry nourishment. Be sure and always keep a few gallons of water in your car, as well as food. Choose foods that are shelf-stable and can store well in the extreme temperatures of a car.
• Be prepared to go: For your car, jumper cables, a tow chain and flares are always good things to have on board. If there are reports of a weather disaster headed your way, check the air in your tires (including the spare!) and fill up the gas tank of your car. Keep the tank at least half-filled as long as the threat remains, as the last thing you want is to run out of gas while sitting in long lines of evacuating traffic.
• Think ahead: For survival in the vehicle, you should have a flashlight and batteries, a fire extinguisher, a whistle, cash and change, vital medications, rain gear, blankets, tarps, toilet paper and any special-needs items for infants or people with disabilities. A cell phone charger that plugs into your car’s lighter outlet will also come in handy. Also be sure to include an old-school paper map, in case you evacuate to an area you aren’t familiar with and your Tom-Tom is on the fritz-fritz. Mark out emergency evacuation routes ahead of time.
Check on your car supplies every six months to make sure nothing has leaked or spoiled. (Use daylight saving time as a reminder!)
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