5 things a Green Beret recommends for your vehicle

5 Things a Special Forces Operator recommends for your car.
We take for granted the risk inherent to a daily commute. While I think emergency planning is super important I must remind a few folks that sometimes your car just breaks down....
While I'm not a ASE certified mechanic, I do carry with me the basic emergency kit that my parents recommended to me as a new driver and I have added to that list with a few years of vehicle combat experience serving in the US  Army Special Forces.
I must also point how important it is to know how to use each of these items BEFORE the crisis arrives.
  1. Jumper cables. Make sure they're extra long, you can't always reach with the cheap sets. Your vehicle won't always be positioned or parked in a way that is easy to jump start the vehicle. An extra long set goes along way...
  2. Fix a flat. A few years ago I had to replace 3 out of 4 tires all with in 90 days because of a sloppy construction crew (nails and screws). Having said that my school didn't care and if I was late, I was late. If it wasn't for the fix a flat I couldn't have made it to my destination ON TIME for me to coordinate for repairs late. I usually carry 2 cans now.
  3. IFAK. An Individual First Aid Kit for not just Motor Vehicle Accidents (MVAs) but for general use. Most good IFAKs will fit in your glove box and/or under your seat. We offer a high quality IFAK that fits in your vehicle storage (click on the blue link to learn more).
  4. Old school print maps. Living in Los Angeles I can tell you data and cell service gaps exist. If you're in an emergency situation and your phone dies or isn't working, a map will go a long way towards getting yourself to help. While not on the list, this is a great time to suggest a back up battery charger for your vehicle and phone.
  5. Survival kit. I was in Atlanta several years ago and a snow storm came through that paralyzed the city. I watched thousands of locals just sit in their cars freezing because they didn't have in their trunks extra clothes in case something went down while they were in their work clothes. Just have some basics in the trunk in case you find yourself in an unplanned overnight stay in back seat.

     While not officially part of the list of 5 I'd also like to take this time to remind our readers:

  • Do the routine and scheduled maintenance on your vehicles
  • Do your best to keep the fuel tank filled above half during the work week
  • Make sure you insurance is current and documents are available in the vehicle
  • Have a phone roster in your wallet/purse in case your unconscious after an MVA
  • Consider keeping a copy of your prescriptions in the same location for the ER staff when they do a wallet autopsy.
  • Spare fluids (coolant, oil, etc...).

     Finally I'd like to suggest taking a course on how to defend and fight from your vehicle. While not exactly an everyday skill having an idea of what to do and how to do it before your vehicle is in trouble is always a good idea!

About the Author:

Jay (ig@18_zulu) is a retired Special Forces Operator from 5th SFG (A) with extensive experience conducting vehicle operations in Semi and Non-permissive threat environments. 

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