Emergency PreparednessProtect Your Vehicle

Winter Emergency Essentials

The winter season brings challenges for travel as well as weather that can wreak havoc. There are survival strategies that are unique to the ice, snow, and freezing temperatures. Ice storms can cause power outages that can last for days, traveling on roadways is a hazardous gamble, and unpredictable weather patterns require quick responses.

With all of the chaos that winter can bring, you can’t be over-prepared for emergency survival. Holidays mean that many people do lots of traveling in their cars and trucks. The nasty weather also means that many people choose to drive to places in their communities where they would normally walk or bike in more pleasant weather. Your car is the first place to equip when it comes to preparing for winter survival.

Items You Can’t Live Without
First things first, you’ll need to have a shovel in your car. Removing snow and ice from under wheels can be a crucial first step in removing your car from a precarious situation. Models of foldable shovels are out there to save space in your car, so there’s no excuse. After you’ve done your best to dig out of the snow, you’ll need a few blankets or sleeping bags on hand to stay warm. Running your vehicle too much not only uses up valuable gas, but can be hazardous if your exhaust is trapped in the snow as well. Be sure you can stay warm and still only run your car’s heat for maybe ten minutes per hour.

Staying warm requires body energy and heat, and that doesn’t happen without water and food. Good snacks to consider are items that aren’t perishable and will stay in your car for the winter without spoiling. Candy bars and protein energy bars are compact sources of quick energy that will be useful. Having clean water on hand is an undeniable need for winter survival.

Stay Alive with These Strategies
As you drive, keep your approximate location in mind. Note road signs you pass and know what direction you’re headed. If a call to 911 or to family needs to be made, it will help a lot to be able to give them your location. Don’t drive blind, know where you are at all times or at least how you there.

Along the same lines, if you’re headed out on the road in the winter be sure to let someone know where you’re going and about what route you’ll be taking. If someone hasn’t heard from you in a while or has been expecting you and you haven’t shown up, they’ll know when you left and may be able to find you on your route.

When you’re stranded in the car and waiting for help to arrive, keep in mind your warmth and safety. Avoid exerting yourself too much if you’re trying to dig your car out or walking for help. Winter weather is unpredictable and you don’t want to get caught too far from your vehicle. Take frequent breaks if you are trying to dig out or repair your car to prevent too much sweat or dehydration.

Keep these strategies in mind when you travel this winter and increase your odds of arriving at those holiday parties safe and warm. Preparing doesn’t require too much effort and can have big payoffs in case of a winter emergency.

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Steve Ference

Steve Ference

When he's not writing post-apocalyptic fiction or survival guides, Steve's snowshoeing on the Pacific Crest Trail or training for his next off-road triathlon.