This document was produced in cooperation with the Emergency Management Division of the Washington State Military Department.
When planning for emergencies, don't forget your vehicle: make sure your car, truck or van is in good working order, and keep an emergency supply kit handy.
Get your vehicle ready
- Keep a emergency supply kit in your vehicle.
- Prepare to be on your own for at least 24 hours.
- Write the date on all food and water stored in your kit. Replace items every six months.
- Keep food items in airtight plastic bags inside your kit.
Emergency supplies for your vehicle
- One gallon of water per person. Store water in large soft-drink containers. Avoid using containers that will decompose or break, such as milk cartons or glass bottles.
- Emergency food. Avoid foods that will make you thirsty. Choose whole grain cereals and foods with high liquid content. Include food for infants and others with special diets.
- Small shovel, jumper cables, tow chain
- Road flare
- Battery-operated radio/extra batteries
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- ABC-type fire extinguisher
- Plastic storage bags
- Cash and change for phones
- A supply of vital medications
- Sturdy shoes, socks, work gloves
- Rain gear
- Mylar blankets, plastic shelter tarps
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Latex gloves (at least 2 pair)
- Map of the area (for locating shelters)
- Games and books for kids
- Pet supplies
- Toilet paper, towelettes
- Feminine and personal hygiene items
- Infant diapers and wipes
Driving in difficult conditions
- Drive with your headlights on.
- Fill the fuel tank before entering open country. Stop to fill up long before the tank begins to run low.
- Don't try to out-drive the conditions.
- Start early. Remember the posted speed limits are for dry pavement.
- Leave plenty of room to stop.
- Brake carefully. It takes more time to stop in adverse conditions.
- Look farther ahead in traffic than you normally do to gain extra time to safely react to situations.
- Drive cautiously near trucks. Avoid cutting quickly in front of them.
- Be prepared with good winter tires, chains, a scraper, and a bag of sand for traction on ice.
- Carry extra winter clothing — the first rule of winter comfort and survival is to stay dry.
- Don't use cruise control in wintry conditions. A brief touch of your brakes to deactivate the cruise control feature can cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
- Remember: A four-wheel drive vehicle can -lose traction on ice just as easily as a two-wheel drive vehicle.
- Make sure your car is in good working condition. Check these:
|Fuel system||Wiper blades|
|Fluid levels||Tire tread/pressure|
|Exhaust system||Proper grade oil|
(All files are PDF.)
DOH Pub 821-047
Revised - March 2008