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December 9, 2013

If You Get Stranded in the Snow, Make Sure to Follow These Tips

When you’re stranded in the snow, you’re in real trouble. It’s not a situation to take lightly. In worst cast scenarios, people stranded in the snow face hypothermia and frostbite, and that threatens both life and limb. Experience shows it’s best to get proactive about it. With enough emergency equipment in your car, you can survive the experience.

Emergency Equipment
The presence of communication and survival equipment in the trunk of your car really helps in these situations. For communication purposes, carry a fully charged cell phone. Your car should have flares in the trunk of the car that work. For emergency equipment, look for a shovel, a windshield scraper and blankets in the trunk. Bags of sand in the trunk can increase the traction of the car and aid in stranded situations. A sleeping bag is an incredibly good thing to pack for roadside emergencies.

Get the Vehicle Back on the Road
Relax. You’re not going anywhere for a while. Don’t burn all the fuel in your car if driving out appears futile. Analyze your situation. How much can you do to help yourself? As a rule, time is not on your side, so the question to ask is can you dig the vehicle out. Can you get back on the road with some sensible steps like freeing up the vehicle from snow, or putting sand or cat litter beneath the wheels for traction? Exercise staves off hypothermia, so do not be afraid to dig your car out.

Communication
Communicate with people. Call Triple-A, a relative, a friend or law enforcement. Passersby may see a “HELP” sign written on your windshield or a flag waving above the vehicle. Set a flare or a roadside emergency triangle out in a visible area near the stranded car.

Hydrate and Exercise
Drink plenty of water, eat snow and exercise. Snow may not look appetizing, but it will help you avoid dehydration. Exercise staves off hypothermia, so dig the car out of the snow bank, if only to get some exercise. If gloves, shoes or boots become wet, remove them in the car. Cover your limbs in blankets or some other material. You may avoid frostbite.

Being stranded in your car can quickly become a life-threatening situation. The best defense is a good offense. Prepare for the worst by packing emergency equipment like shovels, extra blankets and sleeping bags in the trunk of the car. Make it a point to get your car winterized by a mechanic. When you buy a vehicle, get one that is mechanically sound. Your friends at Paaco can help you find a good vehicle by offering a quality selection and financing.

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