Image by ican4x4 from Pixabay

How to Prep your Car for a Disaster

Rugged vehicles can be a whole lot of fun in their own right, but when things get hectic it’s important that your bug-out car is not just tough, but well-prepared. You can’t just have four-wheel drive and a few stray bottles of Gatorade in the back seat.

Many of the things that go into making an effective bug-out or disaster vehicle make a whole lot of sense, you just have to think about them ahead of time. The day that you have to use your bug-out vehicle is a bad time to begin your CV radio installation project. Here’s what we recommend.

Make Sure It’s in Good Working Order

All of the survival equipment in the world won’t do you much good if your car breaks down. We’re not here to deter you from building a bug-out vehicle using something cool and vintage, but you should consider the reliability and durability of a vehicle you’re using for this purpose. Having a strong set of mechanic’s skills will serve you when the end-times come, but you don’t necessarily want to be worried about whether the car will start when you’re relying on it to get away from a natural disaster.

Prepared Jeep
Image by ican4x4 from Pixabay

Make sure that you’re doing the little things to preserve your vehicle in good working order. Know how to recognize the signs that an engine that isn’t running right, and address them yourself or with help from a mechanic. Change the oil regularly, make sure it has fresh tires with enough air in them, check the belts and hoses and replace any that are cracked or worn. Many preppers are surprised to find that these things need to be done because their bug-out car doesn’t get much use. Drive the thing around once in a while, it’s good for it!

Get Your Supplies Prepared

Just as you would stock up on important supplies for your home with a natural disaster looming, your car needs everything in place for you to crank the ignition and get out of dodge. That means:

  • Clean drinking water: see if you can find large 7-gallon jugs that won’t fly all over the car or flats of bottles.
  • Food: more difficult here than with a home but go for MREs and shelf-stable snacks like dried foods and bars.
  • First-aid supplies: anything critical for your families health like medication you should have an extra instance of in the car for bug-out situations. On top of that, a basic first-aid kit with the essentials is a must.

Have What you Need to Service the Car

Even though we already explained how important it is that your vehicle be well maintained, you don’t know what could happen what you set off. So it’s a good idea to have a jack, a quality set of tools and even some basic maintenance items like extra oil and spare fuses along with you. Bring some tire patches and consider investing in a power inverter that will allow you to run an air pump off of the car’s battery.

Additional Items

This is just a start, a few items you shouldn’t leave without that we haven’t fully explored here is a bike or skateboard in case the car becomes not viable, and a method of communication. A radio is a critical addition to your bug-out vehicle and you should probably look into installing a CV and also carrying a hand-crank radio in your emergency kit as a backup.

Noone wants to have to leave their home and live out of a vehicle, but there are some not-so-far-flung scenarios that could lead to exactly that. If that day comes, you can take confidence knowing that you’ve done the prep work, and your car or truck is ready to go. Hopefully that helps you sleep a little better at night.

Scott Huntington is a writer who lives in Vermont. Check out his blog Off The Grid or follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington.

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