Cold Weather Predicted; Follow These Safe Travel Tips
Some very cold weather is predicted for the coming week. With the deep snow and slippery roads we already have in mid-Michigan, be prepared if you plan any travel.
Follow these tips if you are stuck in the snow:
- Try to stay calm and don't go out in the cold. Stay in your car: you will avoid getting lost and your car is a safe shelter.
- Don't tire yourself out. Shovelling in the intense cold can be deadly.
- Let in fresh air by opening a window on the side sheltered from the wind.
- Keep the engine off as much as possible. Be aware of carbon monoxide poisoning and make sure the exhaust pipe is not obstructed by snow.
- If possible, use a candle placed inside a deep can instead of the car heater to warm up.
- Turn on warning lights or set up road flares to make your car visible.
- Turn on the ceiling light; leaving your headlights or hazard lights on for too long will drain the battery.
- Move your hands, feet and arms to maintain circulation. Stay awake.
- Keep an eye out for other cars and emergency responders. Try to keep clothing dry since wet clothing can lead to a dangerous loss of body heat.
Prepare an emergency car kit
Always have winter safety and emergency equipment in your car. A basic car kit should contain the following:
- Food that won't spoil, such as energy bars
- Water—plastic bottles that won't break if the water freezes (replace them every six months)
- Extra clothing and shoes or boots
- First aid kit with seatbelt cutter
- Small shovel, scraper and snowbrush
- Candle in a deep can and matches
- Wind‑up flashlight
- Whistle—in case you need to attract attention
- Copy of your emergency plan
Items to keep in your trunk:
- Sand, salt or cat litter (non-clumping)
- Antifreeze and windshield washer fluid
- Tow rope
- Jumper cables
- Fire extinguisher
- Warning light or road flares