12 things to keep in your car to survive wildfires

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Image: Forest Fires

Wildfires have recently been in the news again. California’s Big Sur wildfires are a sobering reminder that wildfires can happen anytime, even in winter. If you live or travel in a fire-prone area or an area where drought may cause fires, you should: Keep things in your car to survive the wildfire..

Wildfires can grow and spread…fast!

It reminds me of a video I saw during a horrific wildfire in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. A friend of mine owned a house that was destroyed by a wildfire, and many other friends and acquaintances enjoyed the area during their family vacations.

The video vividly shows how quickly the fire spread as the man drove to a safe location. As this article explains, forest fire safety is not an easy task.

(Warning: strong language.)

Long ago facebook discussion Regarding the video and fire, reader Carolyn noted that the car has a few items to help deal with the heat and smoke.

I started thinking along those lines and came up with this list of items. All of them are small and inexpensive, so you should carry them in your car.

What to keep in your car to survive a wildfire

Why driving in a fire is dangerous

It is very, very dangerous to drive on fire like this. Smoke and soot quickly fill the vehicle and rubber tires can melt on the hot asphalt.

Protect your lungs and eyes

It is important that all passengers in the vehicle remain calm and wear a face mask. Even a wet hood tied over your nose and mouth is better than nothing. However, it is much more important that the driver can maintain his or her focus.

Just as a flight attendant instructs parents to put on an oxygen mask first in an emergency, vehicle drivers must especially protect their eyes and respiratory tract.

that much read mask One product that does both of these things, it’s disposable and fits almost anywhere. Respirator masks are bulky, and prices range from fairly reasonable to very expensive, most do not include eye protection. However, a pair of swimming goggles or a snug-fitting range goggles are great for this purpose.

If your vehicle’s air circulation system starts to accept too much smoke or soot, it can close the system.

protection from overheating

Closing the air circulation system helps keep smoke and fumes out, but also stops air circulation. There shouldn’t be any surprises, right? To reduce the chance of overheating, use a small battery-powered fan to move the air around.

For this video, the driver’s dog is starting to show signs of overheating. Squeezing a cloth between the air and drinking water streams, or over the animal’s tongue, increases your pet’s chances of surviving in a very hot environment.

Protection of the Vulnerable

Finally, be aware that the elderly, people with chronic health problems, and very young children and infants will have the most difficulty breathing in a wildfire environment. Take the time to make sure they have a face mask that fits them well.

It’s good to spend some time wearing the mask. Simple dust/fine dust mask, get used to the senses. Many people feel choked when wearing something on their nose and mouth, so it may take some time to get used to.

What if I had to get out of my car to clear the road?

At one point in the video, the driver appears to have to go out and move branches. Between safety glasses, respirator, and work gloves (This pair is also fire resistant.), a sharp ax or axe can be used to quickly perform this type of road sweep.

Fire always darkens the sky and turns day into night. So some LED flashlight It can be used to signal rescuers if necessary. at least one headlamp Hands are available and must be included.

But again, the survival of the entire party depends on the health of the driver, so it’s best to leave the road cleaning job in the hands of another sturdy adult.

Also, remember that additional hazards may come from the same direction the branch of the road came from.

above the head.

When that branch falls, more branches can follow. A downed power line is also a possibility.

Add items to keep in your car to survive wildfires to your vehicle emergency kit

Many items commonly found in vehicle emergency kits can help survive wildfires. These kits should already be packed somewhere safe in each vehicle you own.

I prefer to make my own kits and assemble them from all the high quality products I know. Otherwise, such a well stocked bag You can find it online and in retail stores. Check out all of them and add those that fit your family’s needs.

Be prepared for the unexpected

In the case of the Gatlinburg fire, multiple arson fires, dry conditions and hurricane strong winds combined created a fatal scenario that surprised even first responders.

Typically, wildfires are tracked for hours or days, giving residents enough warning to evacuate to a safe place. (If you live in California, you can find the fire severity section of your address.)

However, as we learned in Paradise, California, wind-induced fires and extreme fire behavior can reduce or even eliminate warning times. Another example is Israel’s use of fire as a weapon of terror and destruction.

Read more: This article explains how a wildfire can endanger your supplies, your family, and your own life, This book is a complete guide Plan and carry out emergency evacuation.

What should I do if I am driving near a wildfire?

If you find yourself driving near a wildfire, tune the radio to an emergency newscast. There is also a handy police scanner phone app that provides updates, and the American Red Cross Wildfire app includes active wildfire alerts and survival tips. (Search for ‘American Red Cross’ in the App Store.)

Of course, the best preparation is not to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. But things happen beyond our control, so the best we can do is to be proactive.

Do you keep supplies in your car to survive wildfires?

This article was originally published on December 1, 2016 and has been updated.

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I’m a Survival Mom by nature and for over 11 years I’ve been helping moms with less worries and more enjoyment of home and family with commonsense preparation advice for over 11 years.

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