Winter storms can be unpredictable, and sometimes dangerous – especially if you are driving. Before you end up on the road this winter, here are some tips on how to prepare for bad weather and what to do if you need to survive one night in your car.
Feel the risk
Generally, it is best to stay away from the road when it is difficult winter weather. It can cause a breakdown, but about 70 percent of winter weather damage occurs in a car and about 25 percent of the injuries happen to people who are stormed, reports from the National Serious Storms Laboratory (NSSL). According to Ready.gov, a winter storm can increase the risk of frost and hypothermia. Combating rain, snow, wind and ice can lead to over-effort from shoveling snow and car accidents due to dangerous driving conditions.
In addition to paying attention to weather reports on TV, radio and internet, Ready.gov suggests making sure your cell phone is set to receive wireless emergency signals. Weather alerts, which are part of the Integrated General Warning and Warning System, are similar to text messages and notify you of severe weather conditions and recommended actions. You can also tune in to your local NOAA Weather Radio station for continuous weather broadcasts, official watches, alerts and more.
It is usually a good idea to winterize your car every year before the winter weather rolls around. A fine tuning, properly inflated tires, new windshield wipers and topped fluids can help prepare your car for the lower temperatures and help to deal with bad weather. And it's a good idea to keep a fully equipped winter emergency kit in your car just in case. Some things to include are:
- First Aid Kit
- Important Medicines
- Flares or Reflectors Signaling for Help and Warning Other Drivers
- Lamp and Extra Batteries
- Mobile Phone and Portable Charger
- Jumper Cables
- Snow Brush
- Snow Brush
- Survival Tires or Sleeping Bag
- Tire Chains and / or Tape
- Extra Set of Winter Clothes
- Snow Paddle
- Hake litter or sand for traction
An emergency kit and wintering of your However, vehicles do not guarantee safety in the storm. If your area is during a winter storm warning, it is best to stay off the road. If you are already on the road, seek protection immediately if bad weather approaches and driving conditions are expected to be dangerous. You may also want to share information about your trip before you leave. Tell a friend or family member your goal, your planned route and when you expect to arrive, recommend the American Red Cross. That way, if your vehicle gets stuck, they will know where to tell the authorities to send help.
If you get stranded
If you're stuck in the car and are endless, you usually have a better chance of finding if you stay with your car ̵
Call for help
Even if you are unsure whether the situation is a real emergency, 911.gov recommends calling 911.
Stay in your vehicle  When you have requested help, stay in the car and wait, says the Red Cross. Don't leave the car, because blowing snow can make you become disoriented and lost.
Make your car as visible as possible
While waiting for help or waiting for the storm, the American Red Cross suggests that you signal that you needed help. For example, raise the hood when the snow stops falling or, if you have a radio antenna, add a piece of colored fabric, preferably red. Weather.com recommends that you turn on your flashlights, and you may also want to set reflectors from your emergency kit.
Concentrate on keeping warm
Inside the car, you make light exercises – like moving your arms and legs, and clapping your hands – to maintain circulation. If another person is in the car with you, huddle for heat. Use extra layers, such as removable floor mats or even a paper map, to help lower more body heat, giving the American Red Cross.
You can also run the engine for about 10 minutes each house to keep warm, says the red cross. Only drive the engine in short quantities and make sure the exhaust pipe is ready for snow to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Drink plenty of fluids
This will help you avoid dehydration which makes you more susceptible to the potential health risks of cold weather, according to the American Red Cross. The Colorado Department of Transportation recommends keeping one gallon of water in your vehicle.
Hopefully you are safe and warm during a winter storm, but it is always a good idea to be ready, only if that is the case. With these tips you can better prepare yourself to handle a winter storm and survive a cold night in the car.
Originally published on November 3, 2016.