Winter Kits For Your Vehicle

Jefferson Real Estate Office in the Winter

The time of year has approached when we are faced with inclement weather and occasional road conditions that are less than desirable.  The notorious South Park Winds can occasionally lead us to road closures that can leave us stranded on the side of the road for hours. 

What should you do if you are faced with being stranded in a road closure? What items should you carry with you for protection and survival? The importance of packing and preparing for Winter cannot be overstated.  It is always best to be totally prepared should the inevitable or the unexpected occurs. The cold and wet introduces a whole new dangerous and potentially fatal consequence and your “survival kit” should be tailored to the environment you find yourself in. 

If you are stuck in your car, your kit should include:

• Windshield scraper, small broom, rags/shop towels and extra winter-grade windshield wash for keeping the windshield clear. Don’t drive without both clearing the whole windshield and rear window and knocking the snow off the roof.
• A shovel, along with road salt/sand/cat litter to help a stuck car gain traction.
• Flashlight with extra batteries.
• Battery-powered radio.
• Non-perishable snack food like energy bars and nuts, along with water and perhaps sports drink since it doesn’t freeze easily. Also pack baby formula if applicable.
• Snow boots, extra hats, socks, mittens/gloves and hand warmers, plus blankets or a sleeping bag and goggles.
• First aid kit that includes a small amount of your family’s prescription medicines in case of an unplanned overnight.
• Tow chain or rope.
• Jumper cables or a self-contained jump box in case of a dead car battery.
• Emergency flares, reflectors, fluorescent distress flag and whistle to attract attention and keep your car from getting hit if stuck.
• Car charger for your cell phone.

 Additional tips: 

 • Keep your gas tank at least half-full during winter.

• Tell someone what route you’re taking if you have to drive in questionable weather.
• Ideally, stay off the road if a storm is forecast.
• If stuck along the side of the road, put on your hazard lights and keep your seatbelt on. Wearing your seatbelt can help protect you from injury if your car is hit by another motorist.
• If stuck, tie your kit’s florescent flag onto your antenna. Also, at night, keep your dome light on, as rescuers can see the glow from a distance. Place roadside flares near your car to alert other drivers and rescuers of your whereabouts. To reduce battery drain, turn on your vehicle’s emergency flashers only if you hear another vehicle.
• When stranded with others, try to have someone stay awake and alert at all times to communicate with rescuers.
• Absolutely stay in your vehicle. Walking in a storm can result in you getting lost and succumbing to hypothermia – and also it makes it more difficult for rescuers to find you.
• Know your limits. Shoveling snow and pushing a car take massive exertion, so don't risk a heart attack or injury by exerting yourself more than your health can handle.
• Keep the inside air carbon monoxide free. Check the tailpipe when you first get stuck to ensure it’s clear of snow. Only run the engine for 10 minutes an hour, keep the window open a crack during this time, and recheck the tailpipe regularly to ensure it remains clear of blockages.
• Stay hydrated to stay warmer, and avoid alcohol, which increases your susceptibility to hypothermia.
Enjoy the Winter Season and stay safe!

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