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Winter Survival Kit

Published November 30, 2018

Everyone who lives in our area should carry a Winter Survival Kit in their car, truck or SUV. By carrying a full Winter Survival Kit with you it greatly improves your odds of remaining safe and comfortable while you wait out the conditions. And just because you only drive around in town doesnít make any difference as you can be trapped in deep snow right in front of your own house.

Should you become stuck, first call 911 on your cell phone. Provide your location, condition of everyone in the vehicle and the problem you're experiencing. Follow the instructions of the 911 operator. You may be told to stay where you are until help arrives. Do not hang up until you know who you have spoken with and what will happen next.
While itís best to remain inside the vehicle while waiting for rescue, if you must leave the vehicle, write down your name, address, phone number, and destination. Place the piece of paper inside the front windshield so that any rescuers that come along have your information.
Hereís a list of items that should be packed in your Winter Survival Kit. If you drive a car, be sure to keep your kit inside your car and not in trunk, which could be frozen closed or otherwise damaged and inaccessible. Pack the following in a plastic tub that can be clipped shut:

  • A windshield scraper along with a snow brush or small broom
  • One or more flashlight(s) with extra batteries
  • A battery-powered (or hand cranked) radio, with extra batteries as well
  • Several bottles of drinking water - plan on at least 3-4 bottles per person based on who you normally carry around with you
  • Snack foods including energy bars, raisins, and mini candy bars. Avoid salty snacks as they increase thirst.

A complete first aid kit along with a pocket knife. Keep it sealed and donít access the contents unless youíre in an emergency otherwise it will quickly become depleted.

While the above items will assist you in emergency conditions, you also have to account for the possibility that you may be stuck in the vehicle for an extended period of time, so you need to pack the following:

  • Space Blankets (inexpensive and extremely effective)
  • Extra hats, socks, and mittens
  • Other blankets or sleeping bag(s)

In this situation, it's better to be cold and awake than comfortably warm and sleepy. Snow can plug your vehicle's exhaust system and cause deadly carbon monoxide gas to seep into your car. Limit running your carís engine for 10 minutes an hour and make sure the exhaust pipe is free of snow. Keeping a window open a crack while running the engine is also a good idea.

Itís been proven that several small candles can generate enough heat inside a car to keep the interior temperature above freezing. Same as when running the engine when you are burning candles make sure you crack the windows slightly as even small candles can produce significant levels of dangerous carbon monoxide.

Now, thereís an opportunity for rescue. Hereís what you need to have on-board to help facilitate your exit from this uncomfortable situation
A tow chain or rope thatís at least 30-feet long:

  • Jumper or booster cables or a battery jump pack
  • Emergency flares and /or several reflectors to both warn other drivers as well as signal rescuers
  • Not just a fully-charged mobile phone but also an extra battery pack to extend the phoneís operating time

Stay safe out there!
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