Jason Mordecai

Car Emergency Kit List

SECURITY SHOT #3 Your Car Emergency Kit

According to the World Health Organisation, cars are responsible for more preventable deaths than suicide, HIV/AIDS and even homicide. Motorists in low and middle-income societies are most at risk of dying in a vehicle accident, with countries in Africa reaching the top of this list.

Despite your car’s homicidal tendencies, we spend hours rolling through the motoring environment. Our faithful cars take us around the corner for a much-needed caffeine fix, they get our kids to school and take us on long-planned holidays. Each route has its own risk profile. A life-threatening event could be around the corner or hundreds of miles from home.  We believe that fortune favors the prepared, so let’s prepare your car for an emergency.

Emergency Items to Keep In Your Car

Before we get started at what you need, let’s consider two important principles:

  1. Pack your car emergency kit so that it doesn’t move: If you have ever been in a vehicle accident, you will know that when it happens, it’s chaotic and violent. Your seatbelt keeps you attached to the car, but anything that is not attached to the car, coffee cups, cell phones, and even bodies are subject to the laws of kinetic energy. When the vehicle comes to a stop, everything loose is everywhere, and this is when you are going to need your roadside rescue kit. The first principle is, therefore, pack it so that it won’t move.
  2. Always pack your kit in the same place: When the emergency takes place, your emotional brain may be running the show. Higher brain functions like memory may not be accessible. Packing your equipment in the same place every time ensures you can find it in a panicked state, in the dark or that you can guide another person to easily find what you need.

Now on with the car and its gear:

Car Emergency Kit List

Vehicle Maintenance is Key

Executive protection specialists will go through a daily routine of checking that the car is in working order, they know that breaking down in a secluded or dodgy area is one of the quickest ways to expose their clients to risk.  This comes down to regular services, checking tires (including the spare), lights and indicators, oil, water, brake fluid, and anti-freeze levels. Lastly, don’t let that gas tank run down to empty. There’s nothing worse than rushing to an emergency when you need to stop and fill up.

Check Your Standard Emergency Equipment

Check your standard emergency equipment: Before we get on with the fancy stuff, check that your spare tire is inflated, you have your jack and wheel wrench, emergency triangle and jumper cables.

Stash Some Cash

In this day of credit cards and payment apps, we have been steered towards a cashless society. Your credit card may get you reward points, but in an emergency, cash is king! Cash buys you help from roadside strangers, it doesn’t need a network or a card machine. This is an especially useful tip when traveling through the third world where banking systems may not be working or you may need to pay an “on the spot traffic fine” to a law enforcement official.

Emergency Items to Keep in Car

Pack a Good Quality Flashlight

There will be occasions when you arrive home or even a holiday destination after dark. It’s often a good idea to check the property out before offloading the luggage and kids. Your flashlight should be packed in an accessible place. It should also always be packed in the same place (so that you can skilfully fumble for it in the dark) and it should be put back in the same place every time you are finished using it. Rechargeable flashlights are ideal in this situation.

Your Roadside First Aid Kit

A number of prepacked travel kits are available. When you purchase one its worth checking the inventory and adding a few items. Add extra medical gloves. In an accident situation, the extra gloves enable you to add members to your team of rescuers. Latex gloves come in different grades of thickness. Try to avoid very thin ones as you’re not in surgery. On the road, there may be objects that can easily snag and tear the gloves.

It’s also worth adding a sealed burn dressing (one with a gel is a good idea). This becomes very useful during holidays and camping trips where we tend to have running kids, drunk relatives, and open fires.

Check that you have an emergency space blanket. Otherwise known as a mylar blanket. They have multiple uses and can be a critical first aid tool while you wait for emergency services to arrive (check out this bearded man with a checked shirt for usage instructions). Lastly, all-time badass Tim Kennedy’s Sheepdog Response bunch reminds us that a tourniquet will take your kit to the next level.  The roadside first aid kit should be quickly reachable, and not below a quarter ton of luggage.

Include a Headlamp

Ever try to change a flat in the dark with one hand? The genius of the headlamp is that it frees up both hands. This is a superb tool, remember to periodically check that the batteries are charged.

Roadside Rescue Kit

Weaponize Your Car

You may be a peace-loving individual, the same unfortunately cannot be said for other people. On the road, self-defense tools may include firearms, pepper spray, expandable batons, and even shocking devices.  The best firearm available is the one attached to your body. Stashing your trusty piece under your leg or in a slot in the cabin becomes a problem when your car is hit hard and your gun has gone AWOL in the dark.

Pepper spray can be an excellent less-than-lethal tool (remember the drunk relative). The can is pressurized and can leak when left in very hot environments. Remember to place your weapon of choice in a place where you can access it just as you are getting out of the car (what all the tactical geeks like to refer to as debussing). The transition from sitting behind the steering wheel and standing is a vulnerable time for a motorist. This is the time to focus on the external environment and have an easy grab-force-multiplier should the need arise.

Protect Your Hands With Gloves

As you travel the temperature of your car’s moving parts will get hot. Gloves can help protect your hands during roadside repairs or even when assisting with vehicle accidents. Make sure that the gloves are not made from an absorbent material. This could lead to burns when dealing with hot liquids like radiator water.

Solve Flats With a Tire Inflation Canister

There may be times when you don’t want to unpack the luggage and change the spare. The longer you are in a dark or remote environment, the higher your risk level becomes. Depending on the damage to the tire, and inflation canister can quickly get you on the road to a repair center or filling station. Larger vehicles like SUV’s may require two canisters to get the tire inflated.

Keeping Hydrated is Key

Packing some water can be a game-changer. You don’t know how long you are going to wait for help and in hot environments, thirst can turn from discomfort to a medical threat. This is especially important when traveling with children. The water could also be used to fill an overheating radiator.

Multitools Are Multi-Useful

A multitool will never replace an actual tool kit, but it can be used for low-level repair work, making a makeshift tool or even as a weapon. You want a quality multitool that won’t snap under tension.

Assemble Your Own Tool Kit

Vehicle tool kits vary in size. If you are going to keep one, a socket wrench is an excellent tool. Cable ties can also become powerful allies for a range of quick fixes.

Fit in a Pen And Notepad

Cell phones can get damaged or loose signal. You also can’t leave them on your windshield as a message to tell someone you’ve gone for help. A pen and note can also be used to record details at accident scenes and they don’t need recharging.

Special thanks 

Photos by Grace Coetzee

Model: Galit (teenage wonder person)

References & Further Reading

ilikeyellowalot. (2017, May 6). The RIGHT WAY to use a SURVIVAL BLANKET. Retrieved from YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJPKzyaBnns

Sheepdog Response. (2019, September 17). CAT Tourniquet Self-Application (from a Green Beret Medic) | Sheepdog Response. Retrieved from YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDzQVO8Oem4

World Health Organization. (2015). Global status report on road safety 2015. Geneva: World Health Organization.

do outside lights deter burglars

SECURITY SHOT #2: Security Lighting Tips

Crime Stats

According to the Office for National Statistics 61% of burglaries between 2017 and 2018 occurred during the evening or night time. 57% of houses used lighting with timers or sensors.

Do Outside Lights Deter Burglars?

Lighting is one of the most effective ways to deter burglars.

Michael Fraser, a reformed burglar, rates the use of security lights as number two in his top five security measures.  Lighting can be one of the most cost-effective security measures for your home security. However, it’s not just a case of putting up a few lights, putting away your ladder and heading for the pub while you hope your TV will be just where you left it. In fact, it’s been established that badly applied lighting strategies can actually increase the vulnerability of a property.

Deep in the recesses of our mammalian brain lurks the fear of the dark. The answer to resolving this fear is the hope that flood lighting will eliminate the potential dangers of things that go bump in the night. However, continuous floodlighting has proved to be an ineffective security solution and a source of light pollution. In some studies, it was found that outdoor crime actually increased in brightly lit areas. Correspondingly, studies in the USA and New Zealand showed that there was no direct increase in crime when public space lighting failed or was removed.

Lighting can be one of the best deterrents for burglars. For it to be effective a little bit of strategy goes a long way. Let’s look at security lighting in a little more detail:

Lighting as a Crime Deterrent

  1. Start your planning by using the adversarial mindset: If you were a burglar, what path would you use to approach your house? In 75% of the incidents mentioned above, thieves forced open a door of the home. You need to consider your home as a 360° area. Cover the routes of access and security critical areas with your lighting plan. Consider your front and back door, driveways, perimeter areas, the sides of the house and walkways. 
  2. Use motion activated lighting: Motion activated lighting is an effective security deterrent because if functions as a call to action. When a light turns on, so should your sense of vigilance. Place your lighting in positions that will highlight the path of an intruder. It is important to purchase a system that allows you to adjust the sensitivity of the sensor. Once your light is up, step out into the night and test the light. You want to reduce the sensitivity of the light activation as much as possible to decrease false activations. For example, do not place the light in front of bushes and tree branches that will activate the light as they wave in the wind. 
  3. Augment your outdoor alarm system with lighting: Motion sensitive lighting can enhance an alarm system that is equipped with outdoor passive detectors. Place your lighting in a position that will allow it to illuminate the area the alarm is monitoring. Again, it’s a call to action. If your alarm activates, move to a safe position at a window and monitor what has activated the alarm. 
  4. Purchase lights that have shields to eliminate glare: As a rule, people from the international space station don’t need to know where you live. You only want the light to illuminate the security sensitive area. Angle the light so that it gives you maximum security value and reduces light pollution. Its also important to eliminate glare that will blind you. You want to comfortably glance at an area and easily see movement. 
  5. Mount your lights at the correct height:  Powerful lighting that is mounted too high can create severe shadows. Conversely, lighting that is mounted too low reduces the area of coverage. You are aiming to illuminate the area with a shadow free soft glow. Depending on the area, ideal light height varies from 6 to 10 feet above the ground (that’s 1.8 to 3 meters for metric readers that have left the imperial stone age).  
  6. Protect your lighting system: Lights can come under attack from criminals and from the elements. Place your cabling in plastic conduit where long areas of cabling are needed. Place junctions and power sources in sealed boxes that are out of reach and waterproof. 
  7. Go green with your lighting: Motion sensitive lights are already a step to save electricity. Nowadays it’s also possible to get a range of quality LED and solar powered external lights. LED systems draw less power, last longer and can create an ideal white light that is needed for security. Solar systems keep you secure even when the power grid is down, and eliminate the need to run long reels of cable to your perimeter areas. Remember to position the solar cell in a place where it will get sufficient light to charge during the day. 

References  

Clark, B. (2003, May 23). OUTDOOR LIGHTING AND CRIME, PART 2:. Retrieved from Astronomical Society of Victoria, Inc., Australia: http://amper.ped.muni.cz/light/crime/OLCpt2.htm#_Toc50355955

Guicherd-Callin, L., Port, C., & Fraser, M. (2016). Burglary Britain: a National Snapshot from Nest, November 2016. Nest Labs, Inc.

HubPages. (2019, April 11). 10 Pro Tips for Installing Outdoor Security Lighting. Retrieved from dengargen: https://dengarden.com/home-improvement/10-tips-to-maximize-your-outdoor-security-lighting-efforts

Jorgustin, K. (2019, January 9). Motion Light Location You Might Not Have Thought Of…. Retrieved from Modern Survival Blog: https://modernsurvivalblog.com/security/best-locations-for-security-motion-lights/

Murphy, A. (2019, February 20). Adversarial Mindset: Home Defense. Retrieved from The Secure Dad: https://www.thesecuredad.com/single-post/Adversarial-Mindset-Home-Defense

Office for National Statistics . (2019, February 28). Office for National Statistics . Retrieved from Nature of crime: burglary: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/crimeandjustice/datasets/natureofcrimeburglary

Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. (2008, March 2). Light Pollution Abatement Site . Retrieved from Royal Astronomical Society of Canada: http://calgary.rasc.ca/lp/crime.html