Winter is a beautiful time of the year, especially when a fresh layer of new snow covers everything. Winter can also be a very dangerous time of the year. If you plan on traveling during the winter, it pays to be prepared for the unexpected. Getting stranded during a winter storm can be a matter of life and death.
If you must use your car during a storm
- Plan your travel, selecting both primary and alternate routes.
- Let someone know your travel routes and itinerary so that, if you don't arrive on time, officials will know where to search for you.
- Check latest weather information on your radio.
- Try not to travel alone - two or three people are preferable.
- Travel in convoy (with another vehicle) if possible.
- Drive carefully and defensively. Watch for ice patches on bridges and overpasses.
- Take note of your odometer and coordinate it with exit numbers, mileposts, or crossroads so if you are in a crash or slide off the road you'll better be able to identify where you are and summon law enforcement officers, rescue workers, or tow truck operators more quickly to your location.
- If a storm begins to be too much for you to handle, seek refuge immediately.
- If your car should become disabled, stay with the vehicle, running your engine and heater for short intervals. Be sure to "crack" a window in the vehicle to avoid carbon monoxide build-up.
Have an emergency kit in your trunk
Basic items include...
- Jumper cables
- First aid kit
- Warm gloves, hats, and boots
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- Non-perishable food
- Cat litter or sand for tire traction