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SHTF: Automobile Emergency Preparedness Considerations

by Chris Heaven

This article was contributed by Clinton Randolph

Most of us drive our vehicles every day, several times a day. SHTF doesn’t have to mean a worst-case scenario of societal collapse or WWIII; it could be as simple as a crash on the highway or a sudden traumatic injury at the job site or big box store  What would you do? What do you need?

A good IFAK (Individual First-Aid Kit) is a good place to start, and you should have one in the car; but an IFAK is for me! What about others? Let’s look at what you need for a good first aid kit for your vehicle. That’s easy you say, I can just go to the local big box store and buy a 200-piece FAK, right? Well, no. Most of these are large boo-boo kits  Adhesive bandages, a  few gauze pads, tape and the like  These can be useful at times, nut for a serious event, you need  a FAK designed to follow and treat according to the MARCH Algorithm that civilian EMS and military medics are taught for managing traumatic events.


The MARCH Acronym

 The MARCH Acronym is a way to remember the most immediate needs for survival in trauma and organizes them in order of importance:

  • M: Massive bleeding
  • A: Airway
  • R: Respiratory
  • C: Circulation
  • H: Head injury/Hypothermia

Let’s look at what we need for each step of MARCH:

Tourniquets (2-3)

There are many tourniquets out there and copies of the CAT. You should use those recommended by the TCCC from medical sources. Good ones that work well are not cheap, but lifesaving.

Several of each:

  • Gauze for wound packing.
  • Roller gauze or Kerlix
  • Israeli Bandages
  • Ace bandages
  • Chest Compressions
  • Nasal Airway (12 fr)
  • Mylar Blanket
  • Chest Seal (2)
  • Pocket Mask

Assorted adhesive bandages, gauze, antibiotic ointment, tape, trauma shears, penlight, permanent marker.

So, how do I use stuff?  There is a list of classes recommended below. Even before you get training for some of these tools, you should carry them. Another person might know how to use them.


Other Supplies

  • Snow Shovel if necessary in your location
  • Spare Tire, jack and lug wrench
  • Fire Extinguisher (ABC)
  • Jumper Cables or box
  • Assorted Hand tools
  • Flares or reflectors
  • Auto Glass punch
  • Wool Blanket
  • Headlamp

This should give you a good supply of tools and supplies for dealing with a variety of emergencies on the road.

I would recommend the medical supplies be purchased from a reputable medical supplier such as North American Rescue or Medical Gear Outfitters. If purchasing from Amazon, be very careful. NAR supplies can be purchased from Amazon, as some imported copies tend to be of dubious quality. Buyer beware.

Recommended courses:


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