Prepare for a Winter Road Emergency
Edited by Jerry Rivers, Lynn
Prepare for a Winter Road Emergency
It is that time of year again in which there may be inclement winter weather while you are traveling down a road or highway. In many parts of the world, from late October until late April, a sudden blizzard can strike without a moment's notice. You must be prepared for the impending dangerous road conditions, such as dangerously high winds, patches of ice and snow in sub-freezing temperatures. If you are in a traffic accident because of dangerous winter road conditions, the risk isn't just from injuries. Sometimes an entire region is crippled so badly that there is no way for a rescue crew to get to you. There is that imminent threat of hypothermia and even death from starvation and hunger.
Take steps to stay safe for your winter driving
- 1You should have a survival kit for your car.There are many measures that you can take to ensure the safety for you and those with you in your vehicle under such an unwanted situation.
- 2This is more than just a first-aid kit. Such items as a radio with charged batteries, functioning flashlight, and extra working batteries should always be accessible in your car. Have emergency items always readily accessible in your car, not just in your home, during the winter season. Follow the recommendations below to prepare for that winter road emergency today. You may want to print copies for a check list.The Center for Disease Control, or CDC, centered in Atlanta, Georgia, advises that all drivers should have a winter road emergency kit that is well-equipped at all times.
- 3Avoid this by keeping the correct mixture of antifreeze in your car's radiator. Make sure, also, that it is tuned up well to handle the adverse conditions.First, be aware that even if you leave your car parked safely in below-freezing weather, the engine can lock up from the extreme cold air.
- 4Have a survival kit properly maintained with the following items:
- Six winter-weight blankets with a change of clothing in case there is a need for dry clothing.
- A five-pound bag of sand if traction is needed.
- Rock salt to apply under tires for melting ice.
- A shovel for removing snow.
- A transistor radio with back-up functional batteries at all times.
- One box of weather proof matches.
- Body and hand warmers, with an extra insulated cap and winter gloves.
- A multi-utility knife.
- A few flares
- A heavy duty flashlight with functional back up batteries.
- The proper car jack with an aired-up spare tire.
- Plenty of canned foods and potable water before every trip.
- Fully charged cell phone with you, as well as its charger.
- Tire chains, or snow tires equipped.
- A tow chain.
- 5Take these precautions:
- During the winter always tune in to your local weather forecast on the TV or radio prior to driving.
- It is a good idea, too, to check the National Weather Service forecast.
- During severe weather, limit your travel as much as possible.
- Keep the above supplies always in your vehicle, and change the flashlight and radio batteries as needed.
- It is recommended to have copies of the emergency road kit supplies presented above, and have them laminated. During winter months, keep one copy stuck to your refrigerator door for you to check periodically.
- The United States National Weather Service warns that the winter is a "deceptive killer". Always let a family member or friend know when and where you are going before you embark on a trip during the winter months. Be prepared for your winter travels, and keep you and your loved ones safe.