September is National Preparedness Month

Advance Auto PartsIf you ask almost anyone if it’s good to be prepared, the answer would be “yes.” And yet, one article from Emergency Management estimates that only 10 percent of people would be prepared to deal with an emergency situation such as an earthquake–meaning that only one in every ten people is prepared for 72 hours of self-sustained living after a disaster.

That’s probably because no one likes to think about emergencies, much less full-blown disasters. Because it’s National Preparedness Month, though, emergency preparedness is more in the news right now, and so more front of mind.

The team at Advance Auto Parts was impressed with the emergency preparedness information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention–and would like to expand upon this sentence: “During an emergency, your local Emergency Management or Emergency Services office will give you information on such things as open shelters and evacuation orders.”

But . . . if you received evacuation orders today, would your car be ready to go?

Hypothetical scenario

Let’s say that it’s been a hectic week at work and your spouse is out of town, so your home responsibilities are much bigger than normal. Because of that, you’ve let minor things go for now–until next week only, when your spouse returns. For example, you didn’t deal with your car’s overdue oil change and you didn’t stop to fill up your gas tank. You had to get to the day care in time and so those tasks, you figure, can wait until tomorrow.

Then, the emergency–no, the disaster–strikes. Let’s say that a fire begins raging out of control in your neighborhood, and you and your children need to get out, now. It’s likely that all gas stations will be closed in the area; and, even if you find one open, can you imagine the line?

Evacuation safety tips

FEMA offers this great advice: “If you have a car, keep a full tank of gas in it if an evacuation seems likely. Keep a half tank of gas in it at all times in case of an unexpected need to evacuate. Gas stations may be closed during emergencies and unable to pump gas during power outages. Plan to take one car per family to reduce congestion and delay.”

Other evacuation safety tips from Advance Auto Parts include keeping the following items in your car at all times:

  • An emergency kit containing such things as:
    • First aid items
    • Cell phone chargers that work in your car
    • Fire extinguisher
    • Flares
    • Basic tools
    • Jumper cables
    • Flashlight and batteries
    • Battery powered radio and batteries
    • Clean cloths
    • Blankets
    • Water
    • Cat litter to gain traction
    • Loose change for any tolls you’d need to pay or vending machines that you can access after you leave the immediate danger zone

If you have a baby, make it a practice to keep a car seat in each vehicle at all times and to include powdered formula, jars of baby food and a spoon in your emergency kit, along with diapers.

If you aren’t already, get into the habit of regular car maintenance so that, if you need to evacuate in a hurry, your car is a reliable form of transportation.

What emergency preparedness or evacuation tips can you share? Leave a comment below!

 

Editor’s note: Be sure to visit Advance Auto Parts for a wide selection of roadside assistance kits and other essentials.

 

Photo courtesy of Ready.gov.