Often we prepare for emergencies at home and work but should you become stranded in your vehicle while traveling, would you know what to do? According to the National Weather Service, the majority (70%) of snow and ice related fatalities occur in automobiles and approximately 25% are people caught off guard, out in the storm. Before you hit the road, follow these simple safety tips:
• Winterize your vehicle by checking:
o Antifreeze levelso Battery and ignition systemo Brakeso Exhaust systemo Fuel and air filterso Heater and defrostero Lights and flashing hazard lightso Oil level and weighto Thermostato Windshield wiper equipmento Install good winter tires
Traveling in a Vehicle
• Check your local weather forecast and road conditions.• Listen to your NOAA radio; a good way to keep ahead of the winter storm.• If possible, try to avoid traveling in dangerous conditions.• Be sure to carry warm winter clothes. • Be sure to tell someone, family or friends, about your travel plans.• Keep your gas tank near full to avoid gas line freezing. • Make an emergency winter survival kit for your vehicle:
o Shovelo Windshield scraper and small broomo Flashlight w/extra batterieso Battery powered radioo Bottled water for each person and your peto Snack foods, containing protein, e.g. raisins, dried fruit, nuts, energy bars, canned fruit and a portable can openero Extra winter boots, coats, hats, socks and mittens/gloveso First-aid kito Multi-tool, folding pocket knifeo Toilet papero Fully charged cell phone & chargero Necessary medicationso Blankets (a space blanket if possible, and/or sleeping bags)o Tow chain or ropeo Nylon cordo Flagging tape or fluorescent distress flago Road salt and sand or cat littero Booster cableso Emergency flares or reflective triangle
If You Become Stranded
• Stay with your vehicle! o First call for help; if you can’t get your car unstuck, don’t leave your car and begin walking for help. You stand a much better chance of being found if you remain with your car; it also provides the best shelter from the elements.• Run the motor about 10 minutes each hour for heat.• Make sure that the exhaust pipe is not blocked and roll down a window for adequate ventilation to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. • Make your vehicle visible to rescuers by tying a red-colored cloth to the antenna or by turning on the inside dome light while running the engine.
For more information, visit ready.gov.