If you live in a climate where snow hits every year, you need to know how to prepare your car for a snowstorm in case you get stranded during winter weather.
We might joke that weather forecasters are only right half of the time, but it’s not that hard to understand that snow could fall in your area during several months of the year. This means you need to be ready for the snowstorm that might appear while you’re at work or overnight. To do this, you’ll want to put some preparedness actions into practice and get ready for the cold winter stuff that’s coming your way.
You Need Some Important Supplies In Your Car
You should have a certain package of supplies in your car at all times, but when the cold stuff arrives, there are additional supplies you need. It’s hard to predict when you might hit a patch of black ice or veer off the road because of poor visibility. If your car stops running, you’ll get cold fast.
Supplies you need all year long include:
- Dry packaged snacks
- First aid kit
Before winter arrives, add the following:
- Extra clothes
- A compact snow shovel
- A long-handled snow brush
- Ice scraper
- Portable jump pack
- Portable 12-volt air compressor
- Sports drinks
- One day’s worth of prescription medications
When you prepare your car for a snowstorm, and you regularly travel with children or pets, you’ll need to think of their needs as well. It’s also important to have your cell phone charging cord and some wet wipes in case you get stuck and stranded for several hours.
Keep Tabs on Your Fuel Level and Charging Level
With the addition of so many electric vehicles to the market, we have to start talking about charging levels when we also discuss the fuel level in a gas tank. No matter the type of fuel used, you want to have at least a half-full system when you head out in the winter. You’ll need fuel to run your vehicle when you get stuck, as long as it’s still functional.
When you’re out in the cold, idling your engine can consume one-half gallon of gasoline per hour in a regular car. It’s hard to tell how much idling can impact your EV charging level. You should run your vehicle for up to 20 minutes per hour to maintain heat so that you don’t use up all of the fuel. If you regularly operate on the “E means Enough” principle, you need to change this thinking during the winter months.
Create Your Own Little Heat Cocoon
You can’t sit in your car for hours without it running and not run out of breathable air. You also don’t want to be exposed to the elements that could create a freezing situation. You’ll want to have a window down a couple of inches to allow air into the cabin so you can breathe, but you can also create a heat cocoon inside your car. If you’ve got a few blankets or towels, you can fill the drafty area and allow air to come in without making your car warmer.
Use the blankets and towels in your car to create a small area where you’re warmer than in other parts of your car. Do this by walling off windows and some of the unused sections of the vehicle to create an extra barrier. Eventually, rescuers can find you and pull you out of your little heated area, but your body heat can help create a warm area inside the car. To ensure you can do this, you’ve got to properly prepare your car for a snowstorm by putting blankets and maybe a sleeping bag in your car.
Stay With Your Car
If you’ve ever watched a movie where a person crossing a desert becomes disoriented because everything around them looks the same, you can understand what could happen in a snowstorm. If you get out of your car, a blizzard can make everything look exactly the same, and you could end up only a few feet from your car and never know it. Don’t leave your car.
One of the most important aspects of being prepared to handle cold winter weather is knowing that you have a chance as long as you stay put. Your cell phone has a GPS signal that can be picked up by emergency crews that could rescue you when it’s safe to do so. Your mind is one thing you must prepare to ensure you stay with your car in a snowstorm that could be problematic for you.
Drive Safer During Winter Weather, Even on Cleared Roads
Just because the snow has passed and road crews have cleared the large mounds of snow away from the road doesn’t mean you can drive on these roads as if it were a dry summer day. Instead, you need two hands on the wheel and to be vigilant at all times. Bridges freeze before the rest of the road, and ice can form easily. If you begin to skid, gently lift off the accelerator and turn toward the direction of travel.
Your defensive driving skills are one way to prepare your car for a snowstorm. More often than not, the worst thing a person can do is panic when they begin to skid and slide.
Do You Need to be On the Roads?
Rather than making fun of the weather forecasters that seem to only be right half of the time, take a few precautions at home. If you’re home when a snowstorm hits, you can figure out whether or not you need to go out on the snow. There’s not much you can do if the snow arrives while at work, but it might not be a bad idea to hunker down in your office if you can as well.
How important is it that you drive from one place to another during a snowstorm? One of the best ways to prepare your car for a snowstorm is to make sure it’s in the garage, and you’re in your house where you can stay warm and cozy. If you think winter weather is coming in a few days, buy some nonperishable foods in case the power goes out.
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