The winter weather patterns can be hard to predict in some parts of North Carolina. While the state does not tend to get a lot of snow, freezing temperatures are common and the occasional bout of snow and rain are a possibility.
The last thing you want to do is find yourself stranded and unprepared in your vehicle in the cold weather. Before you start using your vehicle in the coldest months of the year, it is best to get prepared with a winter emergency kit just in case you do get stranded. Here are four items you should keep in your vehicle all winter to be safe.
If you’re stranded at night, you run out of fuel or your car’s battery dies, staying visible will be a top priority, and the key to helping emergency personnel or a towing service find you. Many drivers make the mistake of assuming their smartphone will serve the purpose because it has a flashlight app or integrated light, but there’s no match for a good flashlight.
A flashlight can be used to light the interior of your vehicle, set on the outside of your vehicle or used as a flasher to signal oncoming traffic or a passing vehicle when you need help. Grab a good LED flashlight or two because these offer ample brightness for extended periods with little energy usage.
When winter roadway conditions change rapidly, it can lead to lines of traffic, many stranded drivers and a long wait time in the middle of nowhere. When you get stranded you may try to dig yourself out, and while that’s a good idea, if the weather is bad you may have to go out in the rain or snow and you’ll get wet and cold.
In this situation, having an extra pair of clothes can be important so that you can change if you get wet and avoid hypothermia.
An extra pair of winter clothes can be helpful even if you don’t get wet, just so you can buddle up and stay warm.
Emergency blankets, sometimes called space or Mylar blankets, are a prized piece of survival gear for two reasons. One, they are thin and compact enough to be folded down into a tiny square package so they can be taken anywhere. Two, emergency blankets have the ability to keep you warm in dire situations when there is no heat available.
Emergency blankets have a foil lining that captures your body heat and radiates it back toward your body. So if you are caught in your car without heat, just having this survival blanket wrapped around you can prevent frostbite or hypothermia. Make sure you get an emergency blanket for each passenger you usually have in your vehicle.
During a major winter storm, dozens of drivers could be stranded on the highway if roadway conditions change fast and bring traffic to a standstill. In this kind of situation, having access to some form of communication is vital to your survival.
Eventually, your car will run out of fuel and your battery can go dead, which means you need some form of a radio so you can get information on local conditions and how long it could be that you will be waiting.
A battery-operated radio is a good option because it will give you hours of local-broadcast news with just a set of batteries. You could also include backup batteries in your emergency kit, in case one pair dies.
It is important to be prepared in the winter. If you would like to know more about preparing a winter driving emergency kit or if you are stranded need assistance, contact us at Dean’s Wrecker Service for information.