Basic Vehicle Maintenance & Preparing it for an Emergency

For many of us, our personal vehicle is not just a convenience but a necessity. When something happens to put it out of commission, our lives are affected dramatically. Chances are, if you are not at home when an emergency strikes, you will be in, or near, your vehicle. So, for the majority of us, our everyday car or pickup truck will need to be ready to serve us in nearly any emergency big or small, while driving to the local grocery store or taking a cross-country trip, while changing a flat tire or surviving a serious accident, blizzard, hurricane, tornado or whatever else in the middle of nowhere. Consider these maintenance activities and supply items to keep a vehicle running efficiently and prepare it for an unexpected emergency.

BASIC TIPS:


KEEP VEHICLE IN GOOD CONDITION:


ITEMS TO CARRY IN VEHICLE:


VEHICLE SECURITY:


WHAT TO DO IF A BREAK DOWN HAPPENS:

It's always best to keep vehicles properly and regularly maintained and stocked with emergency supplies but there are things that just can't be avoided that can bring a vehicle to a grinding halt, like electronics. If the unfortunate happens, consider these things to stay safe and get you back on the road. In general: [On the highway (video 1)]    [On the highway (video 2)]
In the middle of nowhere
Top 5 ways your car is telling you it will break down

COPING WITH FUEL SHORTAGES:

Often, there is actually no shortage of fuel, only the means by which suppliers control its distribution. Nevertheless we are affected by their greed, control and lack of forethought. So, here are some things to consider to cope with their games and deficiencies:
- Work From Home
- Stockpile home supplies to reduce trips to get them
- Combine trips to the store, doctor, work, etc.
- Work with neighbors to pickup your supplies when they shop and pickup their supplies when you shop.
- Have purchases delivered to your home/work instead of going to the store
- Carpool
- Use the most fuel-efficient vehicle (motorcycle, moped, etc.) available to you
- Use alternative transportation - Improve driving habits - Consider making your own fuel or use less expensive fuel alternatives (see the section below).
- Shop for best prices. In a "crisis" gas stations may compete for your business. Report "price gouging" to your state's Attorney General office.
- Top off your gas tank when you can
- Don't panic and stockpile gas. Save some for someone else.
- Use alternative power and heat sources (solar, wind, hydro, wood, coal) to replace home/house fuel (propane, oil, etc.)
- When this "crisis" is over, stockpile reserves for the next one
Resources:
Fuel Shortage? What to Do When Gas Stations are Depleted
How to Prepare for a Fuel Shortage
Tips for better fuel economy

ALTERNATIVE VEHICLE FUELS:

Convert Diesel Vehicles to Run on Waste Vegetable Oil
Kerosene as an Emergency Alternative to Diesel or Gasoline
DIY Ethanol = Pot Still + Sugar + Yeast
Make Fuel With A Wood Gasifier

BUG-OUT VEHICLE CONSIDERATIONS:

When it comes to getting out of dodge, there are many schools of thought regarding "the best" vehicle to have. Ultimately, the best vehicle is the one that gets the job done for you. Make sure it's capable of getting you to your intended destination, keep it in good condition, keep it fueled up and keep it stocked with the necessary emergency supplies. And, when it's time to bug out, it's the last thing you'll need to think about.
What is the Ultimate Bug Out Vehicle?
You're Bug-Out Vehicle: Preparing and Packing
Terrain-Conquering Transportation


SEE ALSO:
How to Build a Wood-Burning (Gasifier) Vehicle
Best Gear for a Roadside Emergency
Snow Chains
Unfreezing Car Locks
Preparing Vehicles for Winter: [Link 1]    [Link 2]
SurvivorMan Stranded in his car in the snow in Norway
Top 10 Tips for Safe Car Travel With Your Pet
Being Prepared to Live in Your Car Successfully and Surviving in Your Car