Winter Weather Travel, Are You Prepared?

Posted: December 5, 2017, 4:15 pm by mpriante

Picture this: You're traveling on a road in a very remote area during a snowstorm. You take the necessary precautions while driving, but find that it becomes difficult to navigate the roads. Before you know it, your car is now stuck on the side of the road in the snow and you're also running low on gas. The snow also doesn't show any signs of stopping and temperatures are in the lower 20s. What do you do?

Although emergency situations like this don't happen too often, it doesn't hurt to be prepared for the worst case scenarios. If weather conditions deem it too dangerous to drive, avoiding travel is probably your best bet. However, for those who have no choice but to trudge through harsh weather conditions, it's better to be prepared and have an emergency kit handy in your vehicle. Here are some important items to have with you, which may end up being the difference between life or death:

Cell phone and charger: You should already have one of these on you, its best if it's fully charged with backup charging bricks, in case you need to call for help.

Blankets and a set of warm clothes: This is very important, as you would want to stay warm if and when your car runs out of gas. 

Flashlight with batteries: Assuming you're traveling during the night in a snowstorm, which we do not recommend, having a source of light to navigate the vehicle to avoid using the car's overhead lights will be essential in conserving energy.

A first aid kit: This one is pretty self explanatory. Whether you're injured from an accident or not, a first aid kit can help.

Non-perishable food/water: If you're stranded in a remote location and know you're going to be spending the night or two, having food available will not only keep your mind sharp, but it will also help you generate energy and thus, keep you warm.

A full tank of gas: Don't think about driving in a snowstorm with almost no gas. It's also fairly important to not have the car running all the time if you know you're going to be stranded for a while. Fuel conservation is extremely important. 

Road flares: It's difficult to spot someone at night or even in a snowstorm without some sort of distinguishable feature. Flares help to not only light up your surroundings, but it also helps make your presence known to tow trucks or rescuers. 

A small snow shovel and snowbrush/ice scraper: These tools are extremely important if you do get stuck on the side of the road in a snowbank, or if your car gets burried in fresh snow. Also, if your muffler exhaust pipe is covered in snow, clearing out the area will help prevent potential fumes from backing into the car. 

As we said before, it's always best to remain at home if a winter storm impacts your area, but if you must travel, keep these tips in mind! 

Associate Meteorologist
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