Stuck, Stranded, Safe

Stuck, Stranded, Safe

If your part of the world endures winter storms, or you have to travel through winter storms this season, a little preparation can go a long way toward keeping you and your family safe. In addition to carrying a bag of sand, rock salt or non-­clumping kitty litter to combat ice should you get stuck, the Red Cross recommends that your car is always stocked with warm coats, gloves, hats, boots, extra blankets, and warm clothing for all household members. It is also wise to carry emergency food and water, and an alternate heating method such as a small wood ­or coal ­burning stove.

Prepare your car

If you must drive during or after a winter storm, prepare your car:

  • Check the tires for good tread and if you use snow chains (not a bad idea to carry a set), make sure they fit and that you know how to install them
  • Get a winter checkup – battery, belts, lights, brakes, wipers and heater
  • Keep your gas tank at least half full at all times
  • Program the local emergency station into your radio
  • Ensure your cell phone is charged before leaving hitting the road

Create an emergency kit for your vehicle that includes:

  • Flashlight with fresh batteries as well as a spare set of batteries
  • Warm blanket
  • Warm snow boots with good tread
  • Heavy gloves
  • First-aid kit
  • Ice scraper
  • Jumper cables
  • 72 hours of dehydrated food for two to three people
  • Water in an insulated containter
  • Road flares
  • Spare cell phone battery or car charger

If you get stranded, call for help, put on your flashers, light a flare and stay in your car while you wait. You are more likely to survive in your car for an extended time than outside in the elements for a shorter time.

After a storm

  • Stay indoors if possible, but do keep an eye on elderly or disabled neighbors Ensure pets and service animals are indoors and livestock has access to shelter, food and water
  • Never use a generator, gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal burning devices inside a house or car. Carbon monoxide poisoning causes over 2,000 deaths and 10,000 injuries every year
  • Take care of your pipes by keeping garage doors closed, but opening kitchen and bathroom cabinets that contain

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