I know it’s still winter and we have a good 4 to 6 weeks of cold left, but my two-year-old camper is sitting in the driveway, beckoning. I can’t wait to hit the road with my family, get away from it all, and still feel like I’m at home. Aside from the comforts of home (yeah, I still bring my pillow with me), safety is also a concern.
There are lots of things that you should have in your safety kit. That’s all the more true if you your RV doubles as your bug out vehicle.
Here 10 essential items that you will need to survive an emergency. If you want to bulk-up even more, take a look at some of the other suggestions here There are loads of really cool high-tech gadgets out there!
Read about how to know when it’s time to bug out.
1)Hand crank flashlight with radio and USB port
Now here’s a great multi-use tool! It’s a bright LED flashlight that needs no batteries. You can also get NOAA weather forecasts, emergency information, and even charge your cell phone. I’ve heard people say that if you’re in a survival situation and you have a cell phone signal, you’re golden! You should also ideally have one LED flashlight (with 5 year batteries) per person.
2)First aid kit
A first aid kit is absolutely essential. All of my family members have one in their cars. Just as important as having a first aid kit is knowing how to use it. Keep a book on first aid with your kit. Or, even better, take a first aid certification course–such as the one offered by the American Red Cross
One important thing to note is that the COTS (Commercial-Off-The-Shelf) kits you have for home use might not cut it in a survival situation. If you have some know-how, consider custom-building your own first aid kit so you’re prepared for treating injuries in the wilderness.
Uber (Uber Technologies Inc.) is an American multinational on-line transportation network company headquartered in San Francisco, California. It develops, markets and operates the Uber mobile app. This app allows consumers with smartphones to submit a trip request which is then routed to Uber drivers who use their own cars. As of May 2016, the service was available in over 66 countries and 449 cities worldwide.
Uber was founded as “UberCab” by Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp in 2009. The app was released the following June. Beginning in 2012, Uber expanded internationally. In 2014, it experimented with carpooling features and made other updates.
Uber processes all payments involved, charging the passenger’s credit card. Uber takes a cut for itself (which ranges from 5% to 20%), and direct depositing the remaining money into the driver’s account. This makes all transactions completely cashless. (Although riders can give tips.) So it is a great convenience for both the rider and driver!
Although Uber is considered a safe mode of transportation, there have been instances where an Uber driver or someone posing as an Uber driver have perpetrated crimes against unsuspecting clients. (And vice versa.) So I wanted to give you the latest security and safety tips that can help prevent you from becoming a victim.
Before I get started, please know that this is NOT going to be a Public Service Announcement for driving sober, wearing your seat-belt, or not texting while driving. All of this is common sense stuff you should know and be following.
Instead, this article is about how to deal with other drivers’ with road rage, how to spot/avoid a potential drunk driver, and how to protect yourself while on the road.
Yes, this is important. It may not be as glamorous or exciting as reading about preparing for the zombie apocalypse. But to date, there have been ZERO reported deaths due to zombies. NONE!
The same cannot be said about motor vehicle accidents. In 2014, there were almost 30,000 fatal car accidents in the US. This resulted in 32,675 deaths.
In 1988 there were 162 million licensed drivers in the US. In 2010, that number had grown to over 210 million. See a trend here? That number is only going to go up. As the number of drivers grow, so too will the number of car accidents. And so too will the number of road rage incidents and DUIs.
All this means that the chances of you being killed or injured in a car accident are astronomically greater than dying in a zombie swarm. Hence you need to pay attention!
According to the US Dept. of Transportation, there were over 253,000,000 cars registered in the US in 2012. Chances are, you probably own at least one of those vehicles. And if you are like many Americans, you probably commute to and from work, use your vehicle to run errands, and take road trips and vacations with it. This means you spend a lot of time in your car.
But what happens if disaster strikes when you are in your vehicle? What if you need your vehicle to get home DURING a disaster, or OUT of a disaster area? Is it prepared and able to help you? If you aren’t sure, then read on to learn how you can prepare your vehicle for a crisis situation!
Start with a Plan
If you have been following this blog, you know that I advocate beginning anything with a plan. All the gear in the world won’t be of much value without a plan or the knowledge of how it works and in what situations to use it. I would first sit down and determine not the worst case scenario, but the most likely scenarios. The chances of you having a flat tire or being caught in a massive traffic jam are MUCH more probable than an EMP attack.
I talk about this in my article 3 Types of Preppers You Don’t Want to Be.
Once you have your bases covered on the most likely events, then start looking at worse case possibilities.
Do you live in an area that experiences hurricanes? Tornados? Is there a chance that you might need to “bug out” to get out of harm’s way? If so, you need to have an evacuation route (and at least one backup route) planned. I’d also have some possible contingency plans in place as well for unforeseen events.
To help you draw up some evacuation plans, I thought I’d give you some pointers and things to consider when drawing up your plans:
- Have a final destination already planned out. Simply bugging out into the unknown should be the LAST thing you want to do
- If you have multiple members of your group/family, the chances of you all being together at the time disaster strikes is slim and none. Make sure everyone in your group knows the plans and the final location.
- I would have pre-determined rally point along the way to meet at if your final location is a long way off. You might also devise a means of communicating with them should the rally point become unsafe
- Know the routes AND the area in general ahead of time. Where are the gas stations? Is there a grocery store nearby? A hospital? What other points of interest are along your intented route?
- How many different ways do you have of getting to your destination? Your primary route may suddenly no longer be accessible, so have contingency plans in place for different routes to take or even different means of getting to your final location
- Do you have not only the gear you need, but a way of safely and securely transporting it?
- Identify areas that you could potentially cache supplies. Are there friendly areas (a friend’s house for example) that you could make a pit stop if needed?
- Identify areas that could potentially be choke points or trouble spots, and ways to avoid them
As a youth, I was actively involved in the Boy Scouts, which is where I learned the importance of being prepared. “Be Prepared” is of course the Boy Scout motto. That mindset transitioned with me into my career as a law enforcement officer.
As a police officer, I teach people the importance of being prepared and staying safe. Not necessarily for the end of the world, but how to protect themselves from crime, or how to be prepared and what to expect should they find themselves a victim of crime.
Chances are that at some time in your life you, a family member, or a friend has been a victim of a crime. It is a very unfortunate part of not just our society, but our species. Because of that, I want to convey some general tips and steps you can do to protect yourself.
The most important tip is to always be aware of your surroundings. Stop texting for a moment and take in what is going on around you. Criminals prey on those who look lost, distracted, and/or weak. So pay attention to your environment. Appear confident. Act like you are in control and are moving with a purpose. Don’t look like an easy target!
There are tens of thousands of muggings and assaults every year in the US. I mentioned that remaining alert and paying attention to your surroundings is a good way to help prevent being attacked. Here are a few tips to help you avoid becoming a victim:
- When exiting a building heading to your car, have they key you need to unlock your door already in your hand. Don’t be distracted at your car by fumbling around in your purse or pocket for your car keys.
- Criminals look for victims that appear to have money or valuables. Avoid wearing flashy, expensive items. Or at least be discrete with them. Carrying large sums of money is not a great idea for obvious reasons.
- Avoid using ATMs when alone and/or at night. If you need to use one, try to find one in a busy area like a grocery store. Thieves HATE witnesses!
- Stick to well-populated areas. If you are visiting or new to the area, try to learn about the area before venturing out into the unknown.