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Boreal Emergency Preparedness Portal

Ten Things To Do If Your Car Is Stuck In A Snow Storm.

Jan 27, 2018 03:00PM ● By Editor

There are a lot of conflicting ideas going around about how dangerous and dramatic winter driving can be. So here's a clear, simple guide for what to do when you find yourself lost in the snow.

10.) Assess The Situation

The first thing to do when you get stuck is to try to get a good idea of the situation you're in. Are you near a built up area where you could walk to try to get help? Are there any other cars that are stuck nearby?

Turn on the radio, or use a weather app to determine if it's better to ride out the storm, or to seek shelter/help.

9.) Make Your Vehicle Noticeable

Turn your hazards on, and do whatever else you can to make your vehicle noticeable. If you've got a reflective warning triangle or flares, excellent.

A visible car will keep people from crashing into you, and let rescue workers know where you are, but for the love of all that is holy, don't just blare your high beams.

8.) Keep Your Exhaust Pipe Clear

I cannot overstate the importance of cleaning your tailpipe enough. Carbon Monoxide poisoning can kill you, so make sure your car's engine can breathe properly.

7.) Shovel Yourself Out

If it's safe, and you've got a shovel in your car (as you should), try to shovel yourself free. No sense resigning yourself to being stuck until you at least attempt to get yourself free.

6.) Stay With The Car

If conditions are bad and you can't find shelter, your car will provide you shelter from the cold, and help rescue workers find you more easily.

5.) Bundle Up

It's going to get cold, so make sure layer on all the clothes you have, and wrap yourself in a warm blanket if you have one. If you don't have a blanket, make sure you get one before the next big snowstorm.

4.) Drink Water And Eat Good Food

Your body is going to expend a lot of energy trying to stay warm, so it's important to stay hydrated with plenty of water, and energized with some healthy, protein-rich snacks.

3.) Make Friends With Your Neighbors 

"If in a situation where there's other cars stuck with you and no chance of any wayward traffic hitting you, make friends with your neighbors. If the sh*t hits the fan you can pool your resources to survive longer/make the wait more bearable."

2.) Mind Your Fuel Consumption

Always have at least 1/2 a tank of gas in your car during the winter. It might seem ridiculous, until you find yourself stuck, and you'll be glad you brimmed the tank. From reader JayBee_III:

"Conserve fuel and run your engine intermittently. Don't just keep running your car on idle. You have no idea how long you'll be there, turn it on occasionally to warm yourself up, and keep your car from freezing up, but leaving it running could spell disaster."

1.) Stay Calm

You might be stuck for a long time, so the best thing you can do is to stay calm and wait for help. Don't waste your energy getting stressed and nervous about things that are beyond your control.
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