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Are you prepared to spend 22 hours in your car?

Posted by Scott Stueber, CPCU, CISR, AAI on Feb 2, 2016 11:02:26 AM

woman-shovelling-out-car.jpgWe've all seen images of car pileups and people stranded in their car for numerous hours during or after a large winter storm. 

Protect you and your family by keeping these items in your car just in case you’re stranded in your car during a winter storm.

1. Keep a shovel in your trunk. If you’re stranded on the roadway or slide into a ditch, removing the snow around your car is critical. If you idle your car to keep warm, the exhaust pipe must remain clear to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. If you don’t have a shovel, use your arms and legs to move the snow away from your car.

2. Small candles and matches. Small candles and a coffee can be used as an emergency heat source. Check out the article “Stuck in blizzard? Here’s an inexpensive emergency heating system.” 

3. Tow chain or rope. Roadside assistance is an excellent service to have. As a West Bend policyholder, I pay a nominal fee to have this coverage on my policy. The service usually works well in normal weather conditions; however, usage increases significantly during major winter storms so there aren’t enough tow trucks to go around. If you have a tow chain or rope, a Good Samaritan may be able to pull you out.

4. Food and water. Keep snack foods, such as energy bars, nuts, raisins, and water in your car all winter.

5. Medications. Consider taking a few days’ supply of your medications. And a roll of toilet paper may come in handy.

6. Emergency flares, reflectors, and flashlights. These will help you remain visible and assist emergency crews in finding you.

7. Extra clothes and blankets. Packing boots, jeans, sweatshirts, and blankets can make you more comfortable until help arrives.

There’s nothing earth-shattering about the tips I’ve shared; they’re simply common sense. What’s difficult is following through with a plan to stock your car with the appropriate items to keep you and your family safe. 

For more driving and survival safety tips, visit the links below.

Expert interview: Winter driving tips from Road America

Six tips to keep you safe during the next big winter storm

Tips to overcome the challenges of winter driving

Six tips for driving this winter season

Do you have any suggestions or information you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you.  Please share them in the box below.

Topics: Weather

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