Winter Survival: If A Storm Traps You In Your Car

Keep calm if you get in trouble. If your car becomes stuck or you become lost, DO NOT PANIC!

Car Winter Survival Can KitThink the problem through, decide the best thing to do, and then do it slowly and carefully.

If you are on a well-traveled road, indicate you are in trouble and need help. Remember the signaling devices that you should have in your car survival kit. If by some chance you do not have a survival car kit, try flashing your directional signals, raising the hood on your car and tying something bright to your radio antenna. Then STAY IN THE CAR and wait for help.

The number one rule is to stay in the car! Unless there is a house or other building very close or help is in sight you must always stay in the car!

If you run the engine to keep warm, do so sparingly and remember to open a window to protect yourself from carbon monoxide poisoning.

  • Check the exhaust pipe of your car to ensure snow has not blocked it. If this happens, you will surely get carbon monoxide in the interior compartment.
  • Exercise, clap your hands, move your arms and legs vigorously or do other isometric exercises to keep the blood flowing.
  • If you are with someone take turns on watch. If you are alone do not go to sleep, stay awake!
  • Remember your horn. If there is a firearm along, shoot three shots into the air, 10 seconds between shots and 30 minutes between volleys. (This is the universally recognized distress code amongst hunters and other outdoor people).

Winter Survival: If A Storm Traps You In Your Car
Make a Winter Car Survival Can Kit

Use an empty three-pound coffee can or any similar container with a plastic cover to store the following items:

  • Small candles and matches
  • Small, sharp knife and plastic spoons
  • Red bandanna or cloth
  • Pencil and paper
  • Large plastic garbage bag
  • Safety pins
  • Whistle
  • Snacks
  • Cell phone adapter to plug into lighter
  • Flashlight and spare batteries
  • 550 paracord (Wrapped around can)

Reverse batteries in the flashlight to avoid accidental switching and burnout. Warm batteries before using them. Store safety items in the passenger compartment when severe winter weather threatens in case the trunk is jammed or frozen shut. Choose small packages of food that you can eat hot or cold.

Read our previous article about a Basic Automobile Winter Survival Kit

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