Date Published: 2018-12-17

It's Winter! Are You Prepared for
an Automobile Emergency?


Car in Winter
Car in Winter

By Adelia Ladson

Winter is no picnic when you have to drive in the snow and ice. Commutes to and from work can be frustrating and downright nerve-wracking when the drive is from one city to another. Lots of folks do it every day, though. (Bless you.) And, as we all know, when you’re on the road, anything can happen. The key is to be prepared with knowledge and tools. Those are things that will help you weather winter automobile emergencies like being stranded. It’s winter! Are you prepared?

Emergency Blanket The first and most important thing is to stay warm. An emergency blanket will help guarantee that you do.
Emergency Blanket The first and most important thing is to stay warm. An emergency blanket will help guarantee that you do.

Stay Warm

First off, you need to stay warm, obviously. If you took your gloves off to drive, now is the time to put them back on and any other winter accessories you might have shed, while driving. Now, that you’re bundled up, quickly get out and make sure your tailpipe is clear of snow. Then, you can keep your heater running in your car without fear of being poisoned by carbon monoxide. However, do turn your car off for periods of time to conserve gas. Also, periodically check to make sure that your tailpipe is still clear when you turn the engine back on. For those periods of time that you turn the engine off or if you’re stranded because your engine quit on you, an Trailblazer Waterproof Emergency Blanket will be crucial to help you retain your body heat. The polar fleece filling will keep you warm while the ripstop polyester outer lining wicks away moisture. You should also move your arms, hands, legs and feet vigorously, about every hour, to improve your circulation.

Canteen KitYou can use a compact, solid fuel stove and metal canteen cup to melt snow to drink, so that you stay hydrated.
Canteen Kit You can use a compact, solid fuel stove and metal canteen cup to melt snow to drink, so that you stay hydrated.

Stay Hydrated

The second thing you need to do is to make sure that you stay hydrated because this will help you retain body heat, as well. Hopefully, you are in the habit of bringing a few bottles of water with you when you are commuting, whether it’s winter or summer. If you’re bottle water runs out or if you weren’t prepared with bottled water, you can melt snow, which can be a slow process but not impossible. It’s not recommended that you eat snow because it will lower your body temperature. So, what you need is a way to melt the snow, and to me, you need to have a Compact Solid Fuel Stove that uses convenient, solid fuel tablets. You also need to have weatherproof matches and a small metal container, to melt the snow in. I like the Trailblazer One-quart Aluminum Canteen Cup because you can put it right on your pocket stove and then, drink from it, too. The great thing is that it is part of a kit that includes a canteen and all nests inside a cover for compact storage in your vehicle. But any small metal container that will fit on your pocket stove will do. If you have a canteen, you can store the water so that you can waiter longer before you have to get back out of your car to melt snow to drink.

Portable Battery PackIt’s vital to keep both your mobile and your car battery charged. A battery jumper and power bank is a must-have!
Portable Battery Pack It’s vital to keep both your mobile and your car battery charged. A battery jumper and power bank is a must-have!

Stay Charged

When you call for help, make sure that you describe as accurately as possible where you’re located and keep the calls short so that your cell phone doesn’t die. You can also send out texts and that will use less of your battery. You should always make sure that your phone battery is charged before you get in your car and go anywhere. Then, you need to make sure your vehicle is easy to find for rescuers. Flameless road flares are great before they’ll last for hours and hours. Turn on your hazard lights when you here rescuers nearby and, if at night, turn on your interior lights. If you have a Portable Car Battery and Power Bank, however, you don’t have to worry about running your car battery down. Another good thing to have in your car is a piece of bright-colored plastic that you can hang out of your window or tie to your antenna. Just get one of those cheap plastic table cloths to keep in your vehicle’s survival kit. It’s really important that you stay with your vehicle because it is your best shelter against the elements. Leaving it, should be a last resort. Most important of all is to stay calm and stay awake.

Staff Sgt. Charles Dornford, who teaches cold weather survival in Alaska, says that having a Winter Survival Kit in your automobile is absolutely necessary, if you live in an area where you get winter storms. All of the items mentioned above should be in that kit, which takes no time at all to put together. You may never use it but don’t ever be in a situation where you wish you had it.




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