your car(s) winterized before the winter storm season. Keeping
your car(s) in good condition will decrease your chance of being
stranded in cold weather. Have a mechanic check your battery, antifreeze,
wipers and windshield washer fluid, ignition system, thermostat,
lights, flashing hazard lights, exhaust system, heater, brakes,
defroster, and oil level. If necessary, replace existing oil with
a winter grade oil. Install good winter tires. Make sure the tires
have adequate tread. All-weather radials are usually adequate for
most winter conditions. However, some jurisdictions require that
to drive on their roads, vehicles must be equipped with chains or
snow tires with studs.
you have a cell phone or two-way radio available for your use,
keep the battery charged and keep it with you whenever traveling
in winter weather. If you should become stranded, you will be able
to call for help, advising rescuers of your location.
a windshield scraper and small broom in your car for ice and snow
together a separate disaster supplies kit for the trunk of each
car used by members of your household. You should also bring
a thermos of warm broth if you are on the road during a winter storm.
If you should become stranded during a winter storm, these items
will make you more comfortable until the storm passes. The kit should
include the following:
blankets or sleeping bags.
gear and extra sets of dry clothing, mittens, socks, and a wool
newspapers for insulation.
bags for sanitation.
fruit, nuts, and high energy "munchies." Non-electric
can opener if necessary.
bottles of water. Eating snow will lower your body temperature.
If necessary, melt it first.
of broth or soup.
small shovel, a pocket knife, and small tools, such as pliers, a
wrench, and screwdriver.
small sack of sand for generating traction under wheels, a set
of tire chains or traction mats.
first aid kit and necessary medications.
flashlight with extra batteries.
candle in a metal can or other fireproof container. While candles
are generally not recommended in disaster situations, having one
in your car can be a source of heat and light if you are stranded.
games, and puzzles.
brightly colored cloth to tie to the antenna.
your car's gas tank full for emergency use and to keep the fuel
line from freezing.
long trips carefully. Traveling during winter weather can be
hazardous. Listen to the radio or call the state highway patrol
for the latest road conditions. Plan to travel during daylight and,
if possible, take at least one other person.
someone know your destination, your route, and when you expect to
arrive. If your car gets stuck along the way, help can be sent
along your predetermined route.
aware of sleet, freezing rain, freezing drizzle, and dense fog,
which can make driving very hazardous. The leading cause of death
during winter storms is from automobile or other transportation
accidents. During winter weather conditions, multiple vehicle accidents
are more likely to occur, resulting in injury and death. Avoid driving
during sleet, freezing rain, freezing drizzle, and dense fog--these
serious conditions are often underestimated.
you do get stuck:
with your vehicle. Do not leave the vehicle to search for assistance
unless help is visible within 100 yards. Disorientation and confusion
come very quickly in blowing snow. Avoid traveling during winter
storms. If you must travel and do become stranded, it is better
to stay in the vehicle and wait for help.
a trouble sign to indicate you need help. Hang a brightly colored
cloth (preferably red) on the radio antenna and raise the hood (after
snow stops falling).
run engine to keep warm. Carbon monoxide can build up inside
a standing vehicle while the engine is running, even if the exhaust
pipe is clear. Experience has shown that running the heater for
10 minutes every hour is enough to keep occupants warm and will
reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and conserve fuel.
Turn on the engine for about 10 minutes each hour (or 5 minutes
every half hour). Use the heater while the engine is running. Keep
the exhaust pipe clear of snow and slightly open a downwind window
the overhead light on when the engine is running so that you can
minor exercises to keep up circulation. Clap hands and move
arms and legs occasionally. Try not to stay in one position for
more than one person is in the car, take turns sleeping. One
of the first signs of hypothermia is sleepiness. If you are not
awakened periodically to increase body temperature and circulation,
you can freeze to death.
together for warmth.
newspapers, maps, and even the removable car mats for added insulation.
Layering items will help trap more body heat.
a window that is away from the blowing wind slightly open to let
for signs of frostbite and hypothermia. Severe cold can cause
numbness, making you unaware of possible danger. Keep fingers and
toes moving for circulation, huddle together, and drink warm broth
to reduce risk of further injury.
fluids to avoid dehydration. Bulky winter clothing can cause
you to sweat, but cold dry air will help the sweat evaporate, making
you unaware of possible dehydration. When individuals are dehydrated,
they are more susceptible to the effects of cold and heart attacks.
Melt snow before using it for drinking water. Eating snow lowers
your body temperature, increasing risk from hypothermia.
overexertion. Cold weather puts an added strain on the heart.
Unaccustomed exercise such as shoveling snow or pushing a car can
bring on a heart attack or make other medical conditions worse.
information obtained from The
American Red Cross