On February 2, 2018, Punxsutawney Phil looked out of his hole and saw his shadow, six more weeks of winter. Depending on where you live it might feel like Spring is just around the corner, but the winter storms aren’t over just yet. Getting stranded in your car can quickly become your worst nightmare. Plan ahead and be prepared, it just might save your life.
Pack a 72-hour kit for your car and leave it in there at all times. The kit doesn’t have to be large or take up much room. Think about the essentials, food, water, and staying warm. How many times do you or the kids say I don’t need a cost there is a heater in the car and in the building you are heading to. What happens if the car breaks down along the way? You’re stuck in the freezing cold without anything to stay warm. Keep coats and warm blankets in the car for emergencies. Depending on the weather help might not arrive for a while. Keep 1 gallon of water per family member in the car. High-calorie snacks like trail mix will ward off hunger. Digestion will actually help keep you warm.
It is a good idea to keep the gas tank full at all times. If you get stranded you can keep the engine running and the heater on for a long period of time. Keep cell phones charge and have a backup charger just in case. Make sure someone knows where you are going. If the search party knows where to looks odds are they will find you a lot sooner. Road flares will make your location easier to spot. Flashlights can be used to single for help. A lighter can be used to build a fire to stay warm. Hand warmers are small and easy to keep in the car. Just shake them when need and they will stay warm for a couple of hours.
Keep a paper map of the area in the car. Don’t depend on your smart phone’s GPS. Don’t leave the car unless absolutely necessary. The car will stay about 20*F warmer as long as the doors are closed.
Deep snow can be difficult to escape. Traction mats and a small shovel can help you rescue yourself or another stranded motorist on the side of the road. Place the traction mats under the drive wheels so they won’t just spin and get stuck. Shovels come in all shapes and sizes. Keep a small collapsible shovel in the car just in case you need to dig the car out of a snowbank.
Car Emergency Kit
- 1 gallon of water per person per day
- Non-perishable food
- Lighter and matches
- Back up charger for your phone (solar charger or battery pack)
- Hats, gloves, warm coat, etc.
- Warm blankets
- Emergency blanket
- First-aid kit
- Jumper cables
- Hand warmers
- Map (don’t rely on your phones GPS)
- Hand crank radio
- Road flares
- Traction mats
- Small shovel
Keep your emergency kit stocked and ready. Remember to rotate the water at least once a year and replace the food as it expires.
Photo Credit: http://www.redplum.com/blog/post/120522/7-tips-to-get-your-car-out-when-stuck-in-the-snow