You may wonder how people survive in their cars overnight when it’s 20 below and there’s not a convenience store within five miles. Preparedness makes the difference between a barely survivable night and a night that, while it won’t compare to a 5 star hotel, will be at least bearable. Stock your car before you get stuck.
Packing Clothing That Keeps You Warm in Your Car Overnight
Never leave your house in the winter without the basic clothing essentials for a night in the elements. That means a warm coat, good gloves, a pair of boots and a hat. A scarf to wrap around your face if you have to leave the car is also a good idea.
A blanket can come in handy to keep you warm or to drape over your head if you have to leave the car. Warm packs that you break open also come in handy, especially if you have to leave the car.
Buying an Snow Emergency Car Kit to Deal with any Complications in the Cold
Tools to survive a night in the car include a window scraper and a small shovel to dig out around your tailpipe if you’re stuck in a snowdrift. Failure to do this and running your car could kill you, so don’t skip this step. Keep tools in the trunk, not in the car; a flying shovel can be lethal in a fender bender.
Other winter car musts include flares and an emergency kit that contains a flashlight and extra batteries. It’s mighty dark in a snowdrift at night. Also consider a Swiss Army knife or a pair of scissors so you can cut the batteries out of the plastic wrapping. Keep the scissors in the glove compartment, emergency kit or trunk.
If you travel in really snowy climes, consider keeping a small rope in the car as well. If you have to leave the car for any reason in a blinding storm, tie the rope to your car and to yourself. While it may seem impossible that you could lose track of your car–a fairly large object–in a snowstorm, people have strayed a few feet away from a house or barn and gotten hopelessly lost in just a few steps.
Since your car is smaller than a barn, assume you could lose it in the dark and give yourself a lifeline back. While you can buy all these things separately, you can also buy kits that contain all or most of the essentials.
Carry a First Aid Kit That Contains Essentials for Emergencies
You don’t need a fully stocked emergency room, but carry a few bandages, aspirin, antiseptic and something to make a splint, such as a long stick and an elastic bandage.
Portable Food and Energy Bars That Stay Fresh in your Car for Use in a Snowstorm
Few people have room for a fridge in the car, but put a small box of food that won’t go bad in the trunk, along with a few bottles of water. Foods that keep all winter include energy bars or breakfast bars. They might not be gourmet, but you’ll appreciate anything if you’re stuck in the car for 12 hours.
Keep A Charged Phone and a Phone Charger in the Car So You Can Call Home
When you travel in winter, make sure your cell phone is charged, and bring your car phone charger as well. While many people today don’t leave home without a cell phone, even if they’re just taking out the garbage, some older people may not have cell phones. If you’re related to one, buy them a phone that has a certain number of pre-paid minutes on it for them. A phone is your lifeline if you’re buried in the snow someplace off the beaten path.
Staying Safe in the Snow by Being Prepared for Emergencies
No one expects to get stuck in a snowdrift miles from civilization, but if happens. Being prepared for any contingency can mean the difference between life and death, so take it seriously.