Stranded in your car in the cold winter
There is nothing here to practice. Simply review
this information at least once before every winter. Stock your car
with the emergency winter kit items and keep at least a quarter
tank of gas in your tank at all times!
Snow, slush and ice can make driving difficult
in the winter months. It's easier to get in an accident and more
dangerous if you become stranded. Cold and precipitation can cause
hypothermia and even death if you're not prepared.
Make sure your car battery
is less than 5 years old and operating well. If it's over
4 years old or if your car has had trouble starting, replace it.
If there is a white discharge around the battery contacts, replace
it. The colder the temperature, the weaker your battery's starting
power is. At 32û, a car's battery loses 35% of its power. At
0û, a car's battery loses 60% of its power. So having a strong
battery in the cold winter is crucial to avoid becoming stranded.
Equip your car with an emergency
winter kit that includes the following:
- Battery jumper cables such as the product
"Start Me Up": Batteries drain faster in the cold.
- An emergency fuel additive such as "Rescue"
or "Spare Tank"
- First aid kit
- Basic tool kit: pliers, screwdriver, adjustable
wrench and pocket knife
- Warm sleeping bags and/or blankets
- A 72-hour supply of bottled water
- High-calorie nonperishable food (canned nuts,
candy bars, nutrition bars) keep them warm if possible so they're
easier to eat.
- Battery-operated radio with extra batteries
- Wireless phone with emergency numbers: You
could end up out of range so bring the radio.
- Flashlights with extra batteries
- Extra dry clothes in water tight bags: gloves,
mittens, boots, socks, hats, long underwear
- Towels in case you get wet. There's no
quicker way to catch hypothermia.
- Any medications you need
- Windshield scraper
- Bag of sand to help tire traction
- Bright colored cloth for signaling help
- A healthy spare tire with the proper tools
and hardware (as always)
During cold driving conditions...
- Drive more conservatively when snow, ice
or water are present. Increase the distance
you normally drive between you and the car ahead of you. Start
slowing down earlier than you normally would.
- Avoid driving with little
gas in the tank. It's a good idea to always keep your tank
one quarter full at all times.
- Make sure all other fluids are full.
- Make sure your wipers work well
to avoid an accident.
- When driving through isolated areas always let
someone know where you are going, when you're leaving and what
time you will be expected.
- In extreme cold, always use an antifreeze
and keep the tank close to full to prevent
your fuel line from freezing.
If you become stranded in winter conditions...
- Stay with your vehicle.
Emergency crews can find your car a
lot easier than they can find you alone. You will more easily
avoid frostbite and hypothermia by staying in the car and out
of the snow and wind.
- Tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna.
- Avoid exposure to the cold and overexertion when
attempting to push the car or shovel heavy snowdrifts.
- Keep the doors unlocked.
- If the locks are frozen and you need to get inside,
heat your key with a lighter.
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