Having a reliable vehicle maintained and ready for deployment is a must. Here we'll go over what should be in your vehicle for a cat deployment.
While on a cat deployment, you’re going to be spending a lot of time in your vehicle, and adding a lot of miles to that odometer. One thing that makes sudden deployment less stressful and the driving more bearable is having your vehicle ready for deployment. Let’s start with the vehicle related must-haves for cat deployments.
First of all, once you’ve decided on what works best for you, it’s a good idea to create a checklist. That way when you drive off, you’re less likely to be leaving important things behind. This goes for when your deployment ends too.
One good idea is to just get a small, clear rubbermaid bin for all of this and tape the checklist onto the lid of the bin. Just keep it in the garage, ready to go.
- Fix a flat: They’re life savers.
- Jumper cables: Clearly
- Extra flashlight and batteries: Never a bad idea.
- A 2 liter bottle of water: Make it potable, so you can drink it in an emergency or put it in your radiator.
- Duct tape
- Solar blanket
- Emergency rain pancho: Buy the pack. You’ll definitely see people that will need one and karma is a good commodity to have in this business.
- First Aid Kit
Also in the bin, pack:
- An extra shirt: Mustard can ruin your day
- Extra socks
- Wet wipes: So essential in so many ways
In the cab:
For the in car items, I would also store these neatly in a clear rubbermaid. One that easily fits in the floor behind the drivers seat is ideal. That way, you can load it each night and not leave all the valuables in the vehicle. Pro tip: Flip that rubbermaid upside down and it can act as another surface for paper work, your burrito, or whatever else you need to set down while you’re closing that claim in the back seat.
- A nice cooler: Get one that will last, not a styrofoam thing. Having a cooler will save you hundreds of dollars a month on eating expenses and help keep you away from the fast food. If you fill your cooler with good healthy food from the grocery store, you’ll be less likely to be hitting drive-throughs. Your waistline will thank you.
- Ice packs for the cooler: Don’t be out buying ice every day, that’s just creating more work. If your hotel room or RV has a freezer (many do above the mini-fridge) pop in a few ice packs when you come home each evening.
- Cigarette adapter to USB: If your car even has a cigarette lighter. Otherwise, just USB outlet adapter for charging.
- USB Octopus: You’re going to want to keep everything charged; phone, iPad, iPad stylus, extra camera, batteries for your Disto, etc. Leave the Octopus in the car, and have another one in your hotel room or RV, it’s worth it.
- iPad cup holder mount: This is great for routing claims and navigating. It’s also wonderful for listening to audio books from Audible while you drive from claim to claim.
- Portable printer: This is a requirement of the job.
- All of your estimating tools (bully bag, disto, pitch gauge, etc.)
- Silica Gel Dehumidifier: During storage. These little blocks absorb tons of humidity, and when they’re full of moisture, they change color and you just bake them in the over for a couple of hours to get them back to normal.
And while you’re waiting, check out this video from Matt Allen at adjuster.tv, “Four things to do before you deploy”