Here in the Northeast we are anxiously awaiting our first “real” snowstorm”. Getting trapped in your car during a snowstorm can be a terrifying experience. But it doesn’t have to be, if you stay calm and follow these survival tips:
- Stay in your car. Unless help or shelter is clearly visible within easy walking distance, you’re safest remaining in your vehicle where it’s warm and dry.
- Make yourself visible. Tie a brightly colored piece of cloth to your antenna to signal rescuers. Use your flashers, and light signal flares if you have any.
- Bundle up. Wrap yourself up in whatever you have. Even news-paper will help you retain heat.
- Clear your tailpipe. Make sure snow and ice aren’t blocking your tailpipe, or carbon monoxide could back up into your vehicle when you turn on the engine.
- Run your heater sparingly. Conserve fuel by running the heater for only 10 minutes an hour. That should be sufficient to keep you warm. Crack a rear window to prevent any fumes from lingering inside when your motor is running.
- Keep moving. Even inside your vehicle, move your arms and legs as much as you can to keep your circulation going and stay warm.
- Fasten your seatbelt. Your car may not be moving, but if visibility outside is low, another car could rear-end you, causing injury if you’re not securely strapped in.
- Stay awake. You’re less likely to experience hypothermia and other cold-related conditions, and you can watch for rescue.