I hope you never find yourself stuck in your vehicle during a flood. However, you should keep a car flood bag in your vehicle at all times. You should especially have this kit if you live in a part of the country that is prone to floods or flash flooding. According to National Geographic, flooding is the most common natural disaster. In fact, in the past five years all fifty states have experienced flooding. No matter where you live you should definitely consider putting together a car flood survival kit. If you happen to live somewhere that flooding occurs quite often I’d be sure to get your kit ready as soon as possible.
A car flood kit is essentially a collection of items you would need to your safety and survival if you were to find yourself in one of these deadly situations. Did you know that a car can be swept away in as little as two feet of rushing water? This may not seem like a lot and that it why it’s extremely important to have a car flood kit.
If you are in your vehicle and a flash flood/flood watch is announced this means that there is possibility for a flood to occur. If a flood/flash flood warning is announced this means that flooding is already happening and will soon be in your area. Despite what kind of alert is made your first plan of action should always be to get to higher ground. If you can safely travel in your vehicle you should. If not, you should abandon your vehicle, take your car flood kit, and head to higher ground immediately.
Water: It may seem odd to carry water with you when there is flooding. However, you definitely should not ingest any water surrounding you. It is probably not clean or purified. You will need water to survive and you should have some extra bottles with you in case of this kind of emergency.
Food: You will also need to have food with you. Some easy foods to keep in your car kit are granola, granola/protein bars, and dry cereal. These particular items can be kept in the car for long periods of time without the risk of going bad or being unsafe to eat. They will also give enough energy if they happen to be the only food you are able to consume for several days or hours.
Flashlight: Having a flashlight is definitely a necessity in any survival situation. A flashlight can obviously be used for lighting the way in the dark but it can also be used to signal for help or alert others where you are.
Batteries: If you have a flashlight you’ll also need batteries. It would be unfortunate to have the batteries run out or be dead. This would render the flashlight pretty much useless.
Crank / Solar Radio: You may be thinking, but don’t I have a radio in my car? As previously stated, you may need to abandon your vehicle and get to higher ground. If this is the case, you’ll grab your flood kit and promptly leave. A radio is a great way to stay informed with what is going on. Are the authorities on their way? Is the flood warning coming to an end? Is there a safe spot you should go towards? Having a radio, especially one that is solar powered or can be cranked for power, is definitely an essential. In addition, even if you are able to stay in your vehicle you may want to be conscious of if it is safe to keep the radio on. Keeping the radio on uses the car’s battery.
First Aid Kit: As with any survival kit you will need a first aid kit. You can either construct one yourself or purchase one that is pre-made. Some essentials you will want in your first aid kit are tweezers, band-aids, gauze, antibiotic ointment, and hand sanitizer. You may also need or want to include medications you may need for personal reasons. If you do plan to include medications just be mindful that many, if not all, prescriptions or OTC meds can be impacted by temperature. Leaving them in your car for long periods of time may render them less effective.
Multi Purpose Tool: It’s always a good idea to have a multi-purpose tool in your car. A tool with many purposes can help in a wide variety of scenarios. Depending on your preferences or your needs you can choose what kind of multi-purpose tool is most beneficial for you.
Cell phone/Contact Information: It’s probable that you’ll have your cell phone on you. You should also have a cell charger in your kit as well. In addition, you should have a list of emergency/essential contact information. If you happen to lose your cell, or if it stops working due to water damage, you’ll be grateful you have a list of names and numbers. You’ll want to be able to contact your loved ones to alert them of where you are and if you need help. Most people do not have phone numbers memorized anymore since they are in our cell phones. Ideally, you’ll want to have this slip of paper laminated or in a Ziploc bag. This will ensure that even if it does get wet it will not be ruined.
Map: If you find yourself stranded due to a flood you’ll need to have information about where you are and where you can go. The first thing you should be thinking of is to get to higher ground. The higher the elevation the less likely you will be impacted from the excess water. If you happen to be in an area that you are not familiar with a map may be a great way to gather this information. In addition, a map will give you alternate routes to travel. If the main road you plan on travelling has flooded you will obviously need to find another way to safety. A map may seem old-school, but again it would be foolish to rely on your phone. You never know what may happen, especially with large amounts of water that can render your cell phone unusable.
Extra Clothing/Rain Gear: Unless you’re a psychic you won’t ever know for sure how long you’ll be impacted by the flooding. You may need additional clothing or rain gear. Due to the nature of the disaster you’re bound to get wet, and probably cold. Have an extra pair of socks and shoes, rain boots are best. You should also keep some kind of sweater or hoodie as well as a rain jacket or poncho. These items will help you in a situation like this by keeping you warm and comfortable.
Again, I hope you never find yourself in a situation that you have to use this car flood kit. It is always a better idea to be prepared for the worst. Having a car flood kit will help keep you safe and healthy in an emergency situation.