How To Prepare Your Car for SHTF


Emergencies and disasters don't follow a schedule, and that's why being prepared is a survivalist's mantra. Your vehicle is often your lifeline in an SHTF scenario, so let's delve into the essential steps to ensure your car or truck is not just transportation but a reliable asset in times of crisis.

Cultivating Survival Habits

Topping Up the Tank

Survival is not just about gear; it's about habits. Start with your gas tank – never let it dip too low. Adopt the practice of topping up when it hits between three-quarters and half a tank. Ideally, maintain at least half a tank at all times. Track your mileage and know your vehicle's range.

Stay Aware, Stay Safe

Situational awareness is key. Anticipate challenges in your daily routes, especially through neighborhoods with higher crime rates.

Route Planning

Plan and test alternate routes for work, school, and other essential locations. The more you're aware, the better prepared you'll be.

Weekly TLC for Your Vehicle

A Weekly Once-Over

Make it a habit to give your vehicle a weekly once-over. Check fluids, lights, tire pressure, suspension, battery, and hoses.

Empower Yourself with DIY Maintenance

Learn Basic Skills

Learn the basics of vehicle maintenance. From changing a tire and oil to fixing coolant leaks and replacing air filters – having these skills ensures self-reliance in the face of challenges.

Upgrade Strategically for SHTF

Winter Readiness

Enhance your vehicle's capabilities with purposeful upgrades:

  • Winter Readiness: For snowy regions, invest in dedicated winter tires or all-weather tires and carry chains.
  • Off-Road Essentials: Add bush bars, skid plates, and roof racks for trucks or SUVs.
  • Communication Matters: If you're a licensed amateur radio operator, a VHF/UHF radio in your vehicle can be a game-changer.

Full-Sized Spare Tire Priority

Don't overlook the importance of a full-sized spare tire. The stock spare is a temporary fix; post-SHTF, tire shops won't be open. Be ready for self-sufficient tire repairs.

Kit Out Your Vehicle

Emergency Kit Essentials

Every vehicle needs an emergency kit and a get-home bag. The emergency kit covers daily issues and proves invaluable in SHTF scenarios.

Roadside Essentials

Include Jumper cables, road flares, a flashlight, tools, gloves – essentials tailored to your needs.

Get-Home Bag Necessities

Your get-home bag should contain survival necessities tailored to your potential journey. Consider the distance and obstacles you might face. Include first aid, water, snacks, a multi-tool, and items for navigating urban terrain.

Emergency Readiness

Essential Tools

Prepare for worst-case scenarios with essential tools:

  • Glass Breaker/Seat Belt Cutter: A must-have for emergencies.
  • Dedicated First-Aid Kit: Treat wounds or injuries on the spot.
  • Defensive Driving Know-How: Understand your vehicle's capabilities to avoid disasters.


In the unpredictable world we live in, a well-prepared vehicle is a survivalist's best friend. By cultivating good habits, maintaining your vehicle, strategically upgrading, and kitting it out with emergency essentials, you're not just driving – you're mastering SHTF scenarios. Stay prepared, stay safe, and ride into the unknown with confidence!

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