When Old Man Winter rears his ugly head, few are safe from his icy breath and chilling embrace. Undoubtedly, the best place to be during a winter snowstorm is huddled up in a blanket by your fireplace or television wearing your favourite pair or slippers and a cozy housecoat. For those among us who are not so lucky, a snowstorm could strike as you drive 4 hours to get home from your ski trip, or as you drive out to visit your country relative for a family dinner.
So what can you do to stay warm if a flash blizzard leaves you stranded on a lonely stretch of highway? As unlikely that it is you would become stranded in the middle of winter, it never hurts to be prepared for the worst, and being unprepared can be truly disastrous. Read on to find out which supplies you should keep in your trunk as part of your Snowstorm Survival Kit.
Item: 4-Gallon Water Container
How It Could Save Your Life: It seems pretty obvious that having a clean water supply is crucial to survival in any situation, but many people don’t regularly carry water in their car. The problem is that water can expand when it freezes in cold climates, so your best bet is to fill up a large camping container but leave enough space at the top for the liquid to expand if and when it freezes. Change the water every six months or so to make sure it stays fresh.
Item: First Aid Kit
How It Could Save Your Life: Of course a first aid kit is vital to survival in any situation where your life is in danger. Even more useful is a first aid kit that includes dehydrated foods and calorie-heavy food bars that can be purchased from various survival stores. Some of these have a shelf life of up to 5 years, so add these to your first aid kit in additional to traditional items such as bandages, scissors and rubbing alcohol swabs.
How It Could Save Your Life: When the storm eventually calms down, your vehicle will likely be buried quite deep in heavy snow. Before you can drive off to safety, you’ll need a tool to help dig you out of your snowy cocoon. Hopefully the snow has not barricaded your doors, but in a worst-case scenario you could still try to open the windows, break up the snow with your shovel, and climb out to free the rest of your vehicle.
Item: Warm Blankets
How It Could Save Your Life: Running your car for heat is not necessarily a good idea when you are stranded in a snowstorm, for several reasons. If you have below a half tank of gas you might not be able to make it home safely once the storm passes if you use up your fuel trying to stay warm. An even bigger concern with running your vehicle when you are trapped inside is fume inhalation, so having a thermal blanket or two in the car to keep you warm is a much safer option.
Additional Items to Pack: Lighters, a flashlight with working batteries, cellphone charger (always drive with a cellphone if you are travelling a long distance in unpredictable winter weather!), toilet paper.