Winter weather preparedness is very important in our mountainous area. Having a continuous threat of icy storms during the late fall, winter, and early spring, travelers should be prepared for being stranded away from home on slick roads and in winter traffic jams.
Here are some tips to make you more prepared for a surprise winter storm:
- Do not drive until snow and/or ice is completely cleared off your windows, side view mirrors, headlights, taillights and license plates.
- Have at least half a tank of gas in your vehicle. If you become stranded in extreme conditions, the extra fuel helps keep your car running so you can stay nice and warm.
- Whenever you run your car to keep warm in the cold weather, make sure you keep a window cracked to prevent carbon monoxide from building up. If you can, free the exhaust pipe from any snow to further reduce the carbon monoxide risk.
- Keep an extra hat, pair of gloves and ice scraper in your car for unexpected weather changes.
- Keep a winter survival kit in your vehicle, including a blanket, clothing, gloves, boots, an emergency flashlight, medication and non-perishable foods like candy bars or crackers.
- When stuck in the ice or snow, try using your floor mats to gain extra traction under your tires.
- If you hit a patch of ice and start to slide, take your foot off of the gas pedal! Do not use your brake. Do not jerk the steering wheel. Remember to always steer into the slide.
- If road conditions are icy and/or snowy, do not panic and slow down! People have a tendency to panic and over-steer.
Here are Items to put in your auto disaster kit:
- Nylon carrying bag
- Bottled water
- Non-perishable food
- Can opener
- Transistor Radio with extra batteries
- Flashlight with spare batteries
- First Aid Kit and Handbook
- Prescription medication
- Regular Blanket, "Space Blanket", or sleeping bag
- Small tool kit
- Toilet paper
- Sturdy walking shoes and an extra pair of socks
- Change of clothes
- Rain poncho
Remember that you may be stranded for up to 72 hours. Make sure you have enough supplies to meet your needs. If you are in a remote area, remember that your vehicle is easier to spot from the air than you alone, and your vehicle can provide you with shelter. Stay with your car.