If you’re stranded in the winter, the best thing to do is contact 911, let them know your location, and wait in your car. Trying to dig your car out or trying to walk back to help can be very dangerous. While waiting, keep your engine off as much as possible. You can idle for a few minutes now and then, but keep it as little as possible and let your clothes keep you warm. You want to save your gas and battery, and avoid the silent dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning. Crack the window open ½ an inch for ventilation, and light your candle for light and some extra heat. Break out your snacks and wait for help to arrive.
However, if for whatever reason the above option is not available to you, here’s a car winter survival kit to help get you up and running and back to safety. It’s meant to be an addition onto a general car survival kit.
ITEMS FOR YOUR WINTER VEHICLE SURVIVAL KIT:
Shovel- should you need to dig yourself out of snow. A folding shovel is convenient for smaller cars.
Pair of hand warmers- to keep your hands warm while working on your car.
Heavy duty work gloves- to put over your hand warmers- help keep your hands even warmer, as well as protect your hands.
Ice scraper- to scrape ice off of your windshield. Mandatory for anyone living in an area that experiences snow in the winter.
Winter jacket and snow pants- to stay warm and dry while working on your car and waiting for help.
Warm socks, hat, and other clothes- same as above.
Snow boots- …yup, you guessed it.
Warm blanket- wrap yourself in while waiting. Keeps you warm while minimizing the time you need to run your heat for.
Metal tin/pot- for melting snow.
Candle lantern- gives you light and raises the temperature inside your car.
Some general tips to help avoid winter emergencies to begin with:
Winter tires- will help avoid accidents in the winter. Remember to check your tires and make sure the pressure is high.
Get a check up- make sure your car is in great shape before winter sets in.
Keep your tank full- never let it fall below half in the winter, should you need to run your engine while stranded. A tank low on fuel during very cold weather can lead to frozen pipes as well.
Radio- know where to find weather and traffic reports on your local radio dial.
Good luck and stay prepared!