There are many stories of people who have been stranded in their cars and had to survive with only the supplies they had in their vehicles. How well could you survive right now with what is in your car?? I have suggested making a car kit before (check it out HERE), so get those car kits assembled and placed in all of your vehicles. If you have college students that travel back and forth on weekends and holidays, they especially need to have a car kit with them.
If you do get stranded and have to use your car as a shelter there are a few things that you can do that will help you stay warm until you are rescued.
- First and foremost, stay where you are!! Don't start wandering off!! You will most likely get lost and make a rescue even harder.
- Only run your car heater every 10 minutes out of every hour and only do this if your exhaust pipe is clear. Crack a window open as well.
- Don't place your head right against the window. Use a blanket or other item to block the cold.
- You can use the stuffing from the seats of your car to keep warm. Stuff them in your socks, sleeves, and pants to stay warm.
- If you have enough blankets, use one to make a partition between you and the back seat to keep the most heat around you.
- If you can't access the trunk from inside your car, you will need to get out quickly and get everything you'll need from your trunk.
- If you travel in rural areas you may consider carrying a common flare so aerial searchers will be able to see you.
- Tie something to your antenna so searchers will see you.
- Staying warm is important, move your arms and legs to keep the circulation going.
- This one is for the ladies: keep a pair of hiking or running shoes in your car. Your cute heels will only get you so far :)
- Always be driving on the top half of a tank of gas. This is great advice not only for winter driving, but for all year driving. If there was an earthquake or other disaster you would want to have a full tank to be able to drive to safety.
One way to stay warm is to make a heater out of a #10 can or a new paint can. They are cheap and simple to make. They also make great gifts. Follow the instructions HERE or HERE to make one for your car. The second link even has a great printout label to use if you are making your heater as a gift.
If you need blankets for your car kits, IKEA sells some inexpensive fleece blankets for around $2.30. They aren't fancy but will work great for a car kit. Keep one for every person that normally travels in your car. Click HERE to see where I heard of them.
Planning ahead will save your life!! I can't imagine I will ever be driving in the middle of nowhere during a snowstorm and get stranded, but stranger things have happened!! I have used my car kits for first aid (kids go through so many band aids),blankets for cold kids in the back seat, water bottles for my kids after soccer, a diaper for the baby (totally an emergency when I realized I didn't have one in my purse!!) and even food for a snack when I have forgotten the kid's snacks. I have needed my kit for everyday "emergencies" and have been grateful for it every time I have used it!!