Could You Escape Your Vehicle In a Disaster? “The Potential Is All Too Real”

by | Apr 4, 2016 | Emergency Preparedness, Headline News | 39 comments

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    Disaster could come anytime, anywhere. It could be a widespread, system-wide event, or it could be a personal crisis.

    Hopefully you have your home and family as prepared as you can be for any and all such SHTF situations.

    But what about your vehicle?

    Countless hours and miles are covered in our cars and trucks, and the road can lead us anywhere.

    What happens in the event of a natural disaster that could sweep your vehicle into flooded waters, or turn your vehicle over in a ditch or a road side?

    Obviously the potential for serious injury or death is all too real. The open road is one of the single most dangerous factors in the American lifestyle, and car accidents are one of the leading causes of premature death.

    Worst of all, auto accidents and severe road hazards are completely unpredictable in most situations.

    Son of Liberty shares some very prudent and important preps that he has installed in his truck to deal with the many possibilities that could arise while on the road and in the vehicle:

    Of course, a [amazon text=emergency medical kit&asin=B003H2EODW], a tourniquet and a bug out bag are all essentials to keep in your car, and take with you everywhere you go. These devices can and will save lives when first responders are still on their way, or even unavailable.

    But here are a few additional installations that can be added to your vehicle to protect you and your loved ones:

    – [amazon text=Auto Escape Strap Cutter and Glass Breaker Tool&asin=B015JTXME2]: Simple and inexpensive devices like [amazon text=Auto Escape Strap Cutter and Glass Breaker Tool&asin=B015JTXME2][amazon text=this one&asin=B015JTXME2] made by Gerber Gear could save your life. This man installed one on each side of the vehicle so that any passenger could easily reach and uses it to cut their seat belt strap and break out a window to escape, even if the worst should happen to the driver or alpha member of the group.

    Here’s a demonstration of how it would work:

    – [amazon text=Tactical Visor&asin=B014P63TR0]: This inexpensive organizer goes over your existing sun visor and allows you to keep much more than just sunglasses. This simple solution can hold scissors, medical supplies, communications devices and other tools you may need in an emergency.

    – [amazon text=Raptor Emergency Medical Tool&asin=B00BHZJA58]: These scissors and multi-tools are designed to fold up for tight storage and protect sharp edges in case it flies loose in a moving vehicle or other situation. Its applications are numerous, but obviously it could help to administer first aid, or free you from being trapped in a wrecked vehicle.

    – [amazon text=Mobile HAM Radio&asin=B004WKH00M]: This device can be mounted in your vehicle and independently powered for emergency communications with police and emergency workers, or other individuals in situations where your cell phone has no service, or is dead, lost or forgotten. It can and will save your life and keep you from being stranded in an already-bad situation.

    -[amazon text=Locking Gas Cap&asin=B000IYT158]: In the event of a SHTF collapse, zombie apocalypse or even a stranding situation, fuel may become scarce, and you’ll want to keep any gas you have in your tank. A simple and inexpensive locking gas cap can deter thieves and looters from siphoning off the fuel in your vehicle’s tank. If the supply chain does break down, or you have to bug out into the wilderness for help, it will be essential to keep whatever is left for when you might need it. This won’t make stealing your fuel impossible, but it will significantly deter those looking for a quick score.

    -[amazon text=Fire Extinguisher for Electrical/Gas Fires&asin=B008REY6BU]: If a serious collision or impact takes place, fire could easily engulf your vehicle – and having a fire extinguisher rated to put out electrical and gas fires is critical, as they are the most common fires in vehicles. This one is compact and handles all these contingencies.

    Of course there are many other supplies and preps you may want to consider for your vehicle, and there are obviously many situations where your car could become inoperable or impractical to use.

    Nevertheless, having these items installed and ready in your transportation will keep you ready to survive and save the lives of others in numerous possible circumstances.

    Stay vigilant, and please add any other important preps you have considered for your car, truck, boat or RV.


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      1. Locking gas cap ?
        HAHAHA , anymore they knock a hole in the tank and drain it into whatever.

        • Just like the window breaker, Who needs extra crap. If I cannot figure a way to break a window with my Smith .357 I’ll just give up. Carry what you need not just stuff.

          • I was involved in a head on collision going over 70, in which the car ended up rolling over and actually balanced on the driver’s side, so the bottom was perpendicular to the ground. The car started smoking after I came to, and I rushed to smash out the windshield with my feet (braced my back against the now-sideways seat, and slammed both my feet down hard on the glass). Once. Twice. Three times. I am a strong person and do deadlifts regularly, and can tell you that those windshields are much stronger than you think, and are built nowadays to not *shatter* under extreme pressure.

            I ended up having to crawl out of the window of the car, face bleeding, and jump off of the side (now facing towards the sky) of the car, into the snow below.

            Just saying, in that situation, a window breaker would’ve been great. Even if I couldn’t get the windshield out with it, I could’ve used it on the window instead of fiddling around with the door’s lock – and wasting precious time as the cabin filled with smoke.

            100% true story. Very lucky to be alive.

            • E99: thanks for the real life experience. Windows also have a coating on them now. I am def going to upgrade to the window smasher the guy used in the first video. He posted links to the Leatherman Raptor and the Gerber seatbelt cutter. I love Gerber. My first fancy folding knife was a little pearl-handled Gerber. Cute as could be.

      2. Hey Mac, whats going on with the Panama Leak? Trekker Out.

        • Sea level rising in the Caribbean.

          • Must be global warming /climate change.

            • Cracks me up, in the news this morning it was reported that snow fell in the Carribian last night, on the Island of Guadeloupe.

              I hear the islanders have invited Al Gore to an authentic island pig roast, they need a big fat pig!

              • Plan twice, last night was a little cold here in the Caribbean. The first night I’ve used and extra blanket on the bed, but my wife didn’t use it (she’s still hot).
                I can’t believe the bit about snow, Guadeloupe is down island, closer to the Equator, but not sure about any mountains there that might have had a little.
                It did snow in the Bahamas in 1977, as well as Miami, though.
                And whoever is saying the water level is rising in the Caribbean is full of crap. This island’s water level is unchanged since 1969, that I know of personally. Maybe the ground is sinking, somewhere, but not here, lol.

        • Notice there hasent been any word about any of our government criminals involved
          How convenient, yet we know they are

      3. Good vid and a nice “heads up”. BTW, I like Leatherman products. I do try and find good used ones at yard sales which still have USA printed on them (made here). If they just say Leatherman Tools, they’re made/assembled in Mehico.

      4. Once you could roll down the window or open the car door.
        Didn’t have seat belts.

      5. Keep water in a glass bottle (stainless steal) and some dry foods. Pillows and silk or cotton down comforter or sleeping bags and wool blankets. If trunk is large, some kind of tent and fold up bed. If you get stuck in traffic and have to camp out in your car. Also keep insulated bags that could be used to hold ice and form a cooler when living out of your car.

        • B from CA – aren’t you Professor Pedant who picks on others for the incorrect use of English?

          So what the heck is stainless steal? And how do you keep it in a glass bottle? Now don’t blame predictive text:-)

          • B from CA – I hate to be pedantic, but what do you mean in your comment below?:

            “If you get stuck in traffic and have to camp in your car.”

            Then what? Do we consult the OED? Play cards? Or just drink stainless steal water?

      6. I have a large tactical folding knife clipped to the sun visor next to the door. It’s got a seatbelt blade, a window break, and is real big and heavy.

        If i have time, I’ve got a HAM radio in the center console, a military trauma bag, two go-bags, a machete, a fire extinguisher, a jacket, shoes/socks/gloves/hat, flashlight, hand sanitizer, TP, a shovel, a Thomas Bro’s map of the county and a basic tool kit under the back seat. If I’m driving out of the county I take my tools and other niceties with me.

        I always have my hip-knife or a multi-tool on my belt and a bic lighter in my pocket (I don’t smoke any more but its habit to carry one and I use it quite a bit).

        • BH


        • A friend of mine was the ultimate prepper type from as long as I can remember. He had every device know to man. One day he was driving home down the road and for some reason crossed the road and went into a ditch. He had a big high lift jack on his rifle rack in his rear window that came loose and pined him down. He drowned in 4 inches of water.
          Just saying. things dont always go as planned.

          • I’m a glass is half full kind of guy. Nice try though. 😉

          • Ed: I hear you. Things do not always go as planned. Thanks for the story.

      7. Only travel roads that have a Denny’s and a Hotel 6 within walking distance at each exit.

      8. My F150 is going to just fine. When I go to my BOL. She will get me there. I’m not going to just bug out with just the truck. ATV’s in front and back, and on the side. (out riders) We will move as a group. Only 25 miles and have allternet routes.

      9. Have all the items mentioned.

        Recently made a trauma kit to keep under the drivers seat. I had all the gear in the back in my big med kit but figured I may not have access to it. So just got a small molle bag and moved those items up front.

        Spare mags in the glove box along with a Red & Blue strobe LED bar for worst case situation needing to get out of dodge.

        I keep an axe and a 12 gauge 870 under the rear seat.

        Fully stocked bug out bag and medic bag in the rear.

        In the space around spare tire I have ammo, food, reflective triangles, chem lights, road flares, saw, shovel, oil, small tool kit, duct tape, extension cord, small air compressor, fix a flat etc…

        Recovery straps, inflatable pad, water, batteries, rope and random things in a bin.

      10. A fire extinguisher and welder’s gloves would have been pretty useful a few years back, here. A commuter van was rear-ended during rush hour, knocked four or six occupants unconscious, long enough for them to burn to death when the vehicle caught fire. No one could get close enough to use a glass breaker or harness cutter.

        This happened maybe 20 cars ahead of me one afternoon, nothing anyone could do.

      11. I have BOB’s in every vehicle. food, water purification, firearms and ammo, knifes, flat wrecking bar, clothes, boots, survival blankets, first aid meds, trauma kit. silver coins, duct tape, zip ties, crank radio and flash light. This is enough to get two people 5 to 6 days of survival time.
        As far as bugging out. I’m to old to run far, I’ll just hold the fort down until the troops get here. We have several families come to my place if and or when the SHTF.
        S.T.S.F.P. N. Reb

      12. I agree with Sons of Liberty about having a fear of being trapped in my vehicle because I am stuck in a ditch or end up in water. I do have a combo-flashlight, seatbelt cutter, window breaker.

        There were two stories I remember about women trapped in their vehicles for days. One was in Florida. An elderly woman drove off a bridge and a kid in a school bus saw her and they found her alive after being trapped for days. Similar story in Washington state with a young woman that drove off the road down an embankment and was out of range to use her cell phone to call for help. I think they found her because she had a whistle. (Some whistles are so loud you should also have some foam earplugs. I have the “Wind Storm” whistle I bought from Duluthe Trading and that thing is fricken LOUD.)

        I was on a road trip two years ago and I didn’t have a cell phone. I thought cell phones were a rip off and so I didn’t have one back then. I went to a festival about three hours away from my house. I was half-way home and hit a piece of road debris that was a big chunk of metal. It tore up my front driver’s side tire. I was on the interstate with a 70-mph speed limit with three lanes of traffic.

        So basically traffic was flying by at 80-mph including tractor trailers. This happened on a curve and there was a bridge ahead of me going across a river. I ended up sitting there for about an hour and then I dug out a bandana and waved it out of the window for about 10 minutes. (This happened a few years ago). It took another 45 minutes until a State Patrol stopped by and let me use his cell to call my insurance company to get a tow truck.

        Just being stuck on the side of the interstate was horrible. I think most folks thought I had a cell phone which is why I was stuck there for about two hours. I stayed with my vehicle because I thought it was too dangerous to risk walking across the bridge given the amount of traffic and the speed of the traffic passing by. It was not safe to even get out of my vehicle on the driver’s side, I had to get out on the passenger side to talk to the State Patrol and the tow-truck driver. The traffic volume was fairly heavy (Sunday afternoon with everyone coming home from trips like mine). The sound from the traffic, outside of my vehicle was loud enough that a normal conversation was not possible with the State Trooper or the tow-truck driver. I had to raise my voice to be heard by both of them.

        If you don’t have a cell phone, get one. The first thing I did once I got home was to research cell phones and plans and I bought one.

        Keep multiple types of signaling devices in your vehicle. From a red bandana to a sign from the auto parts store that says “EMERGENCY : HELP” to a flashlight that also has a red-flashing beacon for at night. A whistle. Something to recharge your cell phone in case the battery is low. (There are small portable charges you can buy from $40 to $120. I have one that can also jumpstart my car and charge my phone, it cost $112 from QVC.) Very cool device, small. There is one that is even simpler to use than the one I have (mine has 3 steps to jump start a car) for people that have no mechanical skills at all. www DOT halo2cloud DOT com

        I always keep a fleece sleeping bag blanket on my backseat and walking boots and socks in my car. Women that drive in high heels to work should always keep some type of walking shoe or boot in their vehicle in case they have to get out and walk. High heels are useless.

        The seat belt cutter and window puncher are critical if you live near water. I agree with Sons of Libery, I also have a fear of being trapped in my vehicle under water. There was that big bridge that “suddenly” collapsed a few years ago over a really big river. I forget where that was, Michican? or Wisconsin? and people ended up in the water. A smaller bridge collapsed a few years ago in Washington state too. Same thing: people ended up in the river below.

        Mac, another great article and I like the videos, too. Thanks!

      13. Good article….

      14. QVC (TV shopping channel) sells a product to get you out of a ditch. It is small and flat like a piece of paper so doesn’t take hardly any space. You put it under the tire. And drive out.

      15. I have done all my own auto repairs, and am a fair to good mechanic. I understand what it takes to keep a car running, critical in the SHTF.

        I just picked up another small 12 volt tire inflator from Harbor Freight tools today. I have one, but it always seems it’s in the other car when I need it. It comes in a nice nylon bag that has room for a tire repair kit, a dozen tire plugs, a couple replacement tire stems and a tool for installing them.

        Every SHTF movie I’ve ever seen, a sub plot is bad guys leaving stuff in the road to give you multiple flat tires so they can stroll by and pick you off to rob you. Can you repair multiple tires fast, refill them and keep going?

        In my 4 wheel drive I carry a tow strap and a 4 ton manual come along, both bought on sale from Harbor Freight. I also carry a breaker bar, with a socket for tire lugs. When a mechanics most powerful air wrench can’t get a lug nut off, a breaker bar can. A breaker bar is also a superior club.

        I do try to minimize the stuff I carry to necessities. There’s only so much storage in a car.

        An item I never see in auto bug out bag lists, a male/female urinal. Like the ones hospitals give out so you can pee in bed. Yeah you may not want to stop, even for a minute. I carry lots of water, it’s got to go somewhere?

        • PTPO: thanks for the tips. I don’t know what a breaker bar is but it sounds useful. I know what a tow strap and come-along are and if I could get them cheap at Harbour Freight that sounds even better. I didn’t know you could get a portable tire inflator either so it looks like I am going to put this on a list and goes shopping. Thanks much!

        • Hah! I just use a tupper ware container to pee in. I keep it under my seat. No need to buy anything. I’ve used it a few times when i could’nt find a rest room. Then put the cover on, keep on floor, take home, empty and wash out. Cheap.

          • For women there is a small compact plastic thing called a “PStyle” that allows women to pee standing up without removing their clothing, and it eliminates the need for toilet paper. They can be found on Amazon. The comments from buyers provide use tips. Handy for women in the outdoors or even using gross public restrooms. I suspect the women who report being unable to use one are obese.

            It likely bares some resemblance to your Tupperware.

      16. We must ban cars now!! After all, it’s for the children…. right???

      17. P, breaker bar is just a longer extension for a wheel lug nut wrench. It could be a length of pipe like I use, that slips over the end of a lug wrench bar.
        I picked up a 1/2 inch socket bar at a flea mkt., put the right size socket on to match the lug nut size, (it’s about 18″ long) and the pc. of pipe is about 2 ft. long; slips over the shorter one giving tremendous leverage to break lug nuts loose.
        Side note, went to the flea mkt. yesterday and leaving we had a flat tire, from a failed valve stem. First time I’ve ever seen a valve stem fail. It blew the cap off the stem!
        Used the 12 volt compressor to fill it back, took a cap off another valve stem and made it home.

        • KOD: thanks for the explanation about a breaker bar. Figured it was a way to get the lug nuts unstuck. So you have one of those little compressors too? I am gonna have to go look at those and see what they have. I hate having to go to get the air filled at the gas station.

          You never know when shit is gonna happen. I def didn’t think I was going to hit a big chunk of metal coming back from my little vacay. I have never heard of a valve stem failure. You were ready, that rocks!

          • Harbor freight has an on line site. You can look up all the things discussed. They also publish 20% off one item coupons in many magazines and newspapers and sometimes on line.

            They have a super cheap 12 volt tire inflator, yellow plastic, often on sale for under $10. It’s very very slow, but works if you have 20-30 minutes to fill a near empty tire. I gave one to my son when he went to collage, it got him home a few times. Once word got out he had it, strangers in the dorm would knock on his door to borrow it. It finally crapped out a year ago, but it had been used heavily.

            There is a larger one for $29 on sale that will fill a tire in just a few minutes, quieter, sturdier, more reliable. This is the one I have, and my son and son in law got for Christmas last year.

            Then they have an even bigger one for like $49 that draws so much power its power cord must be clipped the the car battery directly, it pulls too much power for a cigarette lighter car outlet. I don’t recommend this one.

            • PTPO: I live near a Harbour Freight and have bought some stuff. I have a small socket set and found out about cheap tools after the ratchet broke. The sockets still work but the cheap socket broke quickly! Learned my lesson.

              Thanks for the info to buy the middle-grade item for inflating tires. That sounds great and I will look in the adverts for a coupon as I have a nearby store. Thank you again I don’t always go for the most expensive item either! You just saved me wasting some money and aggravation!


              • Folks Harbor Fright has some OK Tools. As far as sockets
                buy impact sockets and you won’t break them with a breaker bar. I always try and buy the heaver duty tools so you won’t have problem with them falling apart or breaking.
                Remember most of us don’t make out living using tools. A mechanic will buy first rate tool as he uses them in his work. Good luck.

                • I agree on tool quality. Harbor Freight generally has three quality levels. Super cheap, their homeowner level, and then their pro version. I usually buy the pro version on power tools, but know these are not really professional quality. The cheap stuff should be avoided at all costs.

                  I have a good feel for tools and usually avoid over stressing them. My advice, let the tool do the work, don’t force it. I have HF tools that have been running 25+ years. The ones that burned out or broke usually did so while someone else had their hands on it.

                  I bought their biggest heaviest diamond wet saw and built a 50 foot walk, some retaining walls, a patio, and retiled my master bath. Never had a problem with the saw, and got it on sale for the price of two days rental of a nearly identical wet saw at the big box tool rental store. Then I loaned it to a neighbor and watched his handyman repairing a brick walk way repeatedly jam a brick against the blade stalling the motor over and over. Incredible how ignorant some people are, I ended up cutting the bricks for him before he burned it out. It’s a 2.5 HP motor, but it’s still has limits driving a 12 inch diamond blade.

                  I have many tools my father bought from before I was born, and I absolutely agree you get what you pay for with tools.

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