Wise Food Storage Blog

How to Survive a Snowy Winter Night in Your Car

Every winter, thousands of people find themselves stranded while driving in the snow. In December 2000, a man survived 16 days on M&Ms, orange juice, and a quart of water when his car was buried in snow on a back road in Oregon. More recently, a man crashed into a snowy ravine in West Virginia. Battling frostbite and hypothermia, he stayed alive for nearly one week drinking melted snow, and eating peanut butter and packets of taco sauce. He ripped out the interior lining of his car to help stay warm and to have something to burn to create a heat source. These are just two stories of survival that beg the question, “What can you do to survive a night or more in a car?”

What to Do?

This starts with the very basic question of whether to stay in the car or go to find help. Experts says it is better to stay in the car, unless it is a short, safe walk to get assistance. The car blocks the wind, helps keep your body warm and dry, and it is easier for rescuers to spot a vehicle than a person stranded in the snow. Here are some tips for staying safe in your stranded vehicle.

Prepare Ahead of Time

Having proper tools and supplies in your car can make all the difference when you find yourself stranded. The following items are essential to driving in and surviving severe winter weather conditions.