5 Ways To Keep Your Vehicle Evacuation Ready

Anyone who had the displeasure of evacuating  knows of  the frustration and heightened stress levels you experience.  Not only do you have to ensure you have ample supplies, but you also have to deal with the mass exodus of the city.

Quite simply, it is not fun and not something you want to take lightly.  The longer it takes for you to load up your car and leave, the longer it will take to get to your destination.  When my family evacuated Houston for Hurricane Rita, a regular 4-hour trip to Dallas took them 13 hours!  There were times when the highway was at a standstill for hours at a time.  There were many drivers who had to evacuate their vehicles because they ran out of gas, which also added to the frustration of the evacuees.

The main goal when you decide to prepare for any type of emergency  is to relieve any extraneous stress or frustration.  When planning for an evacuation, look at your vehicle as your lifeline.  Having a vehicle that is well stocked and evacuation ready is your ticket to a less chaotic and stressful encounter.

Here are 5 ways to prepare for and maintain your evacuation vehicle:

1. Have vehicle bug out supplies.   Keep your basic survival needs in mind and plan to have enough supplies for 3 days.  The items chosen should be light weight and functional so that, if need be, carrying the kit will not be a strain due to unnecessary items.  Initially, the most important part of  preparing is to have a well thought out a plan.  This plan should be in place before you evacuate.  In addition, if you have children, have some child friendly activities or books packed away to keep their attention diverted.  There is nothing more excruciating than the question, “Are we there yet?”

2. Keep your vehicle properly maintained.  That means checking and changing the oil on a regular basis, ensuring the tires are inflated, brakes are working, the headlights work, and that the vehicle has been inspected.  This is pretty self explanatory.  Whatever vehicle is chosen for evacuation reasons needs to be at optimum performance.

3.  Keep your gas tank full.  When my vehicle gets to half full, I typically fill it up.  Not only does this ensure that I could get a far distance from my home, but it also saves on gas money.  Not to mention, in a evacuation scenario, the lines to the gas stations are going to be filled with frustrated individuals which could lead to run ins, thus delaying your evacuation further.

4. Make sure you have extra navigational items. Items such as GPS,  maps and compasses included in your vehicle evacuation supplies can ensure that you know where to go and how to get there.  To take this a step further, having non-electric navigational items can also help if your electric circuits are disrupted.

5. Have multiple pre-planned evacuation locations.  Road blocks, heavy congestion, and even car accidents can delay your evacuation and having a plan A, B, or C will keep your options open.  Therefore, create multiple escape routes that do not require you to travel through any major cities that are largely populated – this will cut down on traffic jams.  Before you leave, listen to the radio and the news to see which highways are open and plan accordingly.  In addition to pre-planned evacuation routes, find evacuation routes that you would have to take on foot.  No one wants to think about evacuating on foot, but it could be your only option in some cases.

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published June 9th, 2011
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9 Responses to 5 Ways To Keep Your Vehicle Evacuation Ready

  1. Shreela says:

    We’re also including an extra spare should we ever evac again, since we had 2 blowouts on the last evac. And if it’s hot weather, bring a few hand fans, because you won’t be able to run the AC if you’re in stop-and-go traffic. Also, I brought the frozen 2 liter water bottles I made a few days before we decided to evac, putting them in the big insulated cooler – even though we only traveled around 200 or so miles, that water had thawed and was hot before we stopped to sleep. But at least we had cool liquids for the first 8 or so hours, so we didn’t have to stop at super-duper busy businesses for cool liquids.

    • Shreela,

      Great comment! You are absolutely right about turning off the A/C. Otherwise, the car overheats. Thanks for sharing that with us. I’m sorry to hear about your blowouts. During the evac, it probably added a lot of stress to the entire situation.

  2. Ken Johnson says:

    The carcinogen Dioxin is found in plastics. Freezing water in plastic bottles causes this carcinogen to leech from the plastic into the water. Repeated Dioxin exposure is toxic to the liver at the very least. Commercially available sealed freezer packs are one option. Freezing marked plastic bottles filled with tap water is another. They’ll function effectively as large “ice cubes” and will keep the water you will consume very cold. 
    The human body should be composed of at least 60% water in the living state. This river of life by natural design is supposed to carry water soluble nutrients into one’s cells, and toxins OUT of those same cells.
    Evacuation stresses certainly increase one’s internal toxicity, making clean water more important than ever for health maintenance.

  3. Ken Johnson says:

    A thought for Shreela regarding auto overheating problem has to do with choosing vehicular lubricants. You might ask your mechanic about full synthetic or synthetic blend motor oil for your vehicle. Operating temperature reductions of up to 25 degrees F have been documented, which reduces overheating substantially. Vehicle make, model, age, mileage, etc. must be considered of course. Reducing operating temperatures by reducing friction also increases fuel mileage. First tier synthetics also offer extended oil change intervals as yet another bottom line benefit.
    Numerous high end luxury performance sedans and sports cars (imports and domestics) come preloaded with synthetics, and recommendations for over 10,000 miles or more between oil changes. This would be very useful in evacuation related dislocations where everything is out of sync.

  4. Bob Register says:

    Commercial plastic containers with numbers 1,2 or 5 (normally in a triangle  on the bottom of the container) are safe for storing fluids and will not leach,  according to testing accomplished by scientific organizations.

  5. Mac says:

    Having a ‘plan’ is Critical, even if your supplies happen to be spread around different parts of the house. Essentially, what we want is to have an evac checklist, several of them even. A rapid evac checklist that is designed to get you out of the house in 15 minutes in the event of a chemical, biological or nuclear emergency, and a secondary that allows for a 1 – 2 hour load time… The primary, of course, would cover the bare essentials for survival like water, food, medical, personal defense, as well as things like family pictures/hard drives (if you have less than an hour to evac, it means something very bad has happened and you may not be able to return home….ever)…. The secondary list covers everything else…

    Another important factor in evac plans is to know where you are going and to ensure shelter on the other end… Family, friends? Camp ground? Perhaps a hotel (not many will be available along the major evac routes)…

    Just some thoughts I figured I’d pass on.



  6. Mumashik says:

    I live in Florida in a hurricane zone.  You will NOT be able to buy gas in a SHTF situation.  Here, all gas stations near the coast are sold out within an hour of an evacuation order.

  7. jewsrapebabys says:

    No need to worry about anything ever obama will save everyone.

  8. Amanda says:

    Apon filling some gas flume escape ( gas you payed for), if you open the tank to offten this escaping will add up. Normally this gas is trapped and used .

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