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Preparedness for Vehicles

If you or members of your household drive regularly or spend long amounts of time in a vehicle, you should be prepared to respond to emergencies while driving.

Build a Kit

In case you get stranded or stuck, keep an emergency supply kit in your vehicle. Think about the things you would want in case you had to spend a night in your car or leave your vehicle and walk somewhere safe. Be sure to include these items:

  • A photo of jumper cables for a carJumper cables
  • Flares or reflective triangles
  • Ice scraper
  • Car cell phone charger or battery pack
  • Blanket or sleeping bag
  • Local maps
  • Cat litter or sand for traction
  • Car chains or other traction devices
  • Warm clothing layers
  • First aid kit
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Sturdy walking shoes

Make a Plan

Do you know multiple routes to get home or someplace safe without using a GPS? Are you aware of upcoming weather forecasts or hazards that might impact driving conditions? Make an emergency plan for your commute.

  • Keep your gas tank at least 1/3 full in case of evacuations or power outages.
  • Install good winter tires and make sure they have adequate tread.
  • Turn Around, Don't Drown! Never drive through floodwaters. It only takes a few inches of moving water to sweep away large vehicles. 
  • If a power line falls on your car, call 9-1-1 right away and stay inside until a trained responder can remove the wire.

Resources

Prepare Your Vehicle for Emergencies
Vehicle preparedness information from the Washington State Department of Health and the Emergency Management Division of the Washington State Military Department.

What Should You Keep In Your Car?
Vehicle emergency kit information from the National Safety Council.

Turn Around Don't Drown Information about vehicle preparedness for flood conditions from the National Weather Service.

Downed Power Lines
Information about downed power line safety from Puget Sound Energy.
A still from a video about downed power line safety from Puget Sound Energy

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