News story illustrates need for emergency kits in vehicles

A man and woman, missing for three days, were found and rescued on Wednesday, February 15, in Placer County, California. They had been out sightseeing in their car when they drove down an unplowed remote road and got stuck. They survived for three days, subsisting on Girl Scout cookies, peanuts, and melted snow.

You can read the full news story here.

Stories like this read almost like a list of what NOT to do.

1) While they had a cell phone, the battery was almost dead and they had no car charger for it. The man had to hike several miles in snow a couple feet deep to find a strong enough signal to call for help. What would they have done if the phone had completely died? Always have a car charger for your cell phone in your vehicle, just in case.

2) They had no food, water, or presumably other supplies in the car. If they’d had even a basic emergency kit, they’d have been much better off. The story says they would run the car every thirty minutes to warm up. What would have happened if the car ran out of gas? Emergency blankets, even old comforters, would have served them well to help keep warm.

3) They had told no one where they were going or when they were likely to return. The story mentions searchers were looking in the wrong area. Had the couple just told a family member they were heading out to see the sights in even a general area, they may have been found much quicker.

Use stories like this to illustrate to friends and family the need for even just a basic emergency kit in every vehicle, as well as the need to follow basic precautions. Thankfully, despite the many errors in planning and judgment, this story turned out ok. That may not be the case for the next folks in a similar situation.

Published by

Jim Cobb

Jim Cobb has been a student of survivalism and emergency preparedness for almost thirty years. As a young child, he drove his parents nuts with stockpiling supplies in the basement every time he heard there was a tornado watch in his area. Of course, being a child, those supplies consisted of his teddy bear, a few blankets and pillows, and random canned goods he grabbed from the kitchen cabinets. Later, he was the first (and likely only) child in his fifth grade class to have bought his very own copy of Life After Doomsday by Bruce Clayton. Today, he is a freelance writer whose work has been published in national magazines such as Boy’s Life and Complete Survivalist Magazine. He is a voracious reader with a keen interest in all stories with post-apocalyptic settings. He maintains the Library at the End of the World blog and is also the Content Director for He currently resides in a fortified bunker in the upper Midwest, accompanied by his lovely wife and their three adolescent Weapons of Mass Destruction. Jim's first book, Prepper's Home Defense, was published late 2012 and his second book, tentatively titled The Prepper's Complete Guide to Disaster Readiness, will be out in mid-2013, both coming from Ulysses Press.

2 thoughts on “News story illustrates need for emergency kits in vehicles”

  1. Mylar blankets come in multi-packs and are rather cheap. They take up next to no space. I don't see why more people do not have them.

  2. One is none and two is one. I would hope that EVERYONE that checks out these pages is already online on what to do " JUST IN CASE ". I have had a "Bug Out Bag " for several years now. My 4×4 vehicle has blankets, water, Maps and gear for several days plus communication (CB, handheld walkie-talkies). You are in-charge of taking care of your family, so do all the right things now. Don't be one of THOSE people that says well I could have done more. LEARN as much as you can about everything, I mean everything! It's never to late to start, just start. Keep your powder dry, Semper Fi.

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