Surviving Snow Strandings

  1. GPS1504
    For many of us, it is the time of year for snow. There are few things more worrisome than having to deal with heavy snowfall, especially a blizzard or whiteout conditions. With snow also comes patches of dangerous and potentially deadly black ice. If you drive desolate roads that are seldom, if ever, plowed then your worries are more than the average city dweller with plow teams and road salt aplenty.

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    Surviving heavy snowfall means being unfailingly prepared for it. Keeping items in your car such as an emergency shovel, an ice scraper or de-icer, Hot Hands, a bag of rock salt, and a loudly colored flag or cloth are essential to survival in snow. You may have only yourself to rely on if stranded or stuck, so you might as well have all the possible odds in your favor.

    If you become stuck, try shoveling your way out. You may be able to move enough snow out of the way to regain traction. If this does not work, that is where the rock salt comes in as it may melt the more stubborn snow and ice that you are not able to manually remove, or at least aid in the process of loosening it. You can also try using your floor mats for traction by placing them at the base of your stuck tires and attempting to drive over them. However, if you are stuck like Chuck and have no hopes of freeing yourself without help, that is where that brightly colored flag or piece of cloth comes into play. Tie it securely to your antennae up as high as possible so it will be visible to passersby. Having an item that will stand out against the white snow will help you be seen, especially if your vehicle is white and thus blends well with snow.

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    While you wait for help to come, hopefully you will have a cell phone with good reception to notify family and friends of your situation or access to services such as OnStar to arrange assistance. If not, stay calm and do your best not to panic. Check your vehicle for snack items and beverage options; most of us having something stashed away in our vehicles for a snowy day. Water will freeze, but a pinch of salt or alcohol can alleviate that issue although it results in a host of its own problems, such as further dehydration and inability to pass a roadside sobriety test. If you break open a pack of Hot Hands, they can aid you in keeping drinks from freezing at least temporarily as you wait for help.

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    The bottom line is that snow happens and for many it is a part of their daily life for much of the year. Because it is \'the norm\' several people stop thinking about the precautions they should implore in the event things go south in a snowstorm. Don\'t be one of those people; plan ahead and have on hand items that could keep you alive in a crisis. Remember: complacency kills in more ways than one. Don\'t be an unprepared statistic.

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