Winter Weather  

Week Two: Winter Survival Kit for Your Car

You can avoid many dangerous winter travel problems by planning ahead.

  • Maintain your vehicle as recommended
  • Replace any worn tires and windshield wipers as needed.
  • Keep the gas tank at least half full.
  • Equip your car with an emergency preparedness kit. Include: a first aid kit; windshield scraper; booster cables; mobile phone and charger; tool kit; tire chains; folding shovel; flashlight and extra batteries; drinking water and non-perishable foods.
  • If you travel with your pets, include a kit for them, too.
  • If you get stranded in your vehicle:
    • Tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna as a signal to rescuers.
    • Move anything you need from the trunk into the passenger area.
    • Wrap your entire body, including your head, in extra clothing, blankets, or newspapers.
    • Stay awake. You will be less vulnerable to cold-related health problems.
    • Run the motor (and heater) for about 10 minutes per hour, opening one window slightly to let in air. Make sure that snow is not blocking the exhaust pipeā€”this will reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
    • As you sit, keep moving your arms and legs to improve your circulation and stay warmer.
    • Do not eat unmelted snow because it will lower your body temperature.