Emergency officials say prepping your car could save you in a flood

COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX) - Recent floods in Louisiana are a reminder that getting trapped in your home is not the only scenario you should consider. Experts say it’s important to also prep your vehicle.

"Help is minutes away at best,” said Will Welch with the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service. “You have to be able to be self-sufficient at least for the short term until help can arrive."

Earlier this year, the Brazos Valley dealt with flooding, and it doesn’t take long for conditions to change and leave you stuck in your car for quite some time.

"What a lot of people don't think about is your vehicle,” said Welch. “Think about how much time you spend in your vehicle. You and your family traveling, road trips, to-and-from work. Those are times when situations can occur."

Welch recommends drivers keep a "get home kit" in their car.

"Those essential items: food, water, shelter, medication, those things that are going to sustain you,” said Welch. “Something like an MRE or a freeze-dried meal that's dehydrated that you can make quickly, these save space and are really easy to tote along with you."

Welch also recommends have water on hand in the vehicle. He says those are the basics, but if you have the space and money to invest, items like a first aid kit, ropes to tie things down, tape, gloves, a flashlight and even a radio can be helpful in an emergency.

"A lot of times in a disaster, a cell phone is not going to work,” said Welch, "so how can I get the word out that I need help?"

A portable CB radio can connect you with people on the road.

Being stuck for hours also means you have to be prepared if Mother Nature calls.

"I always keep a roll of toilet paper and a water proof container,” said Welch. “You have to keep in mind that there are moral and potentially legal issues with using the facilities in public, but during a disaster, those things may be over looked. Do the best you can, and of course, maintain sanitation."

You can learn more about building your own emergency get home kit by logging on to the TEEX website, which is linked with this story.