Severe Winter Weather – are You and Your Car Ready?
Vehicle Winter Preparation Goes a Long Way!
Winter is taking a heavy to toll on residents of the New England states and eastern Canada. Snowfall measuring in feet has accumulated across the area creating travel hazards and leaving communities in the dark. What started out as a relatively mild winter has rapidly become one for the record books!
Winter weather can change quickly resulting in freezing roads covered over in drifting snow. The 20 minute ride home can result in hours or longer of being stranded on the side of the road.
When severe weather strikes it’s imperative to make sure your vehicle has all the necessary supplies to keep you safe until weather conditions improve or someone comes to your rescue.
Follow these recommendations before heading out the door during a wintry day. A little planning goes a long way in keeping you and loved ones safe when Mother Nature unleashes her winter fury. Make sure your car is adequately stocked with safety supplies that include equipment, clothing, food and water.
Safety gear at a minimum should include: blanket or sleeping bag, plastic trash bag, candle with matches or lighter, red bandana (safety signal), paper and pencil (leave contact information if abandoning car), whistle, warm clothing from head to toe, cell phone charger and a reliable rechargeable LED flashlight such as a NightStar Shake Flashlight, Shake Light 40 flashlight or Vortex Crank Flashlight. Batteries lose their ability to deliver power when cold so selecting a flashlight that eliminates dependence upon alkaline batteries is the best solution.
Fresh Air is a Life Saver
As tempting as it is to turn your vehicle into a cocoon, remember that fresh air is necessary to avoid buildup of CO and CO2 gas. This is especially true if you burn a candle.
Food and Other Supplies
In addition to warm gear be sure to have food stocks such as granola bars, nuts or similar dry goods (think healthy) and of course a canteen filled 85% full of water. Other supplies that come in handy include rope (in case you leave the vehicle during blizzard conditions), jumper cables, kitty litter, shovel, tow rope or chain and road flares. We recommend LED electronic flares or LED safety batons that provide a variety of light signals, operate for hours, attaches to metal parts of your vehicle and charges via the cigarette lighter.
In addition to supplies be sure to always travel with at least a half tank of gas. Your car is your shelter and periodically you will want to run the engine for heat and in extreme cold conditions to maintain a charge on your battery. Always make sure the exhaust pipe remains clear from snow blockage.
Keep Your Wits About You
Stay calm and stay in your vehicle. The weather will pass and your roadside adventure will be an inconvenience. Avoid overexertion you do not want to sweat for it will only make you colder later on. Hopefully you will never have to spend hours waiting out a winter storm in your car but if you do and you have the supplies covered in this article as well as remain calm the winter weather will pass and you will be safe.