Handling Emergencies Without a Car

Wondering “What will I do in an emergency” kept me from selling my car for many months.  With a baby in the house, I worried whether I would find myself in a situation where I’d regret living without a car.

One day I was telling a friend of these worries, and she said “If it’s a real emergency, you call 911. You’d do that even if you had a car.”  She was right.  I sold the car and have been car-free for almost 2 years now.  Luckily, we haven’t had any emergencies, but here are some ideas on how to handle various crises without a car.

1.  Medical Emergency.

  • Like my friend said, dial 911, and have them come to you.

2.  Sickness.

  • If your medical insurance offers a nurse-advice phone number, call them to see if you can do self-care or if you do need to come in.
  • Use taxi, public transport, car-sharing services (like Uber), family, or friends to get to an medical care clinic.
  • Some doctors and nurses do make house calls, to the benefit of car-free people.  Research these providers in your area ahead of time.
  • Post these phone numbers on your fridge, so they’re ready when you need them.

3.  Natural Disaster.

  • After a disaster, the roads are going to be clogged (or damaged) anyways, so it usually makes more sense to stay near home until help arrives.  Get to know your neighbors (now) so that you can help each other during a storm, tornado, earthquake, flood, etc.
  • Make yourself more resilient to disasters by building an emergency kit, practicing a home exit plan, and preparing safe areas in your home or property.

With a little pre-planning, living without a car is no barrier to thriving through emergencies, sickness, and natural disasters.