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The publication below is provided courtesy of County Technical Services, Inc., (CTSI).
Winter Weather Survival Tips for Motorists
This winter has seen several avalanches that have closed roads, caused traffic delays, and stranded motorists. Winter weather can be hazardous and driving and road conditions can change quickly. A few weeks ago, a man and his dog in Oregon spent five days trapped in his car when it went off the road in a snow storm. He was able to survive by turning his car on occasionally for warmth and by eating Taco Bell sauce packets and drinking melted snow. Relying on having enough gas, a love of fast food, and a tendency not to clean out your vehicle is not a good survival strategy.
Winter Weather Survival Kit
The Colorado Department of Transportation recommends people traveling in cold weather stock their vehicles with a winter weather survival kit that includes the following.
If You Are Stranded in Your Vehicle
If you find yourself stranded in your vehicle during a snow storm, immediately check that the tailpipe is clear of snow. A blocked tailpipe can lead to a deadly buildup of carbon monoxide in the passenger compartment. According to U.S. Airforce Staff Sergeant Charles Dornford, who teaches cold weather survival strategies to Department of Defense personnel in Arctic Alaska, taking the following steps if you become stranded in winter weather could save your life.
What This Means for Counties
If possible, avoid driving in bad weather; however, if you must be out, ensure that you are prepared in case winter weather means spending a night in your vehicle. Keep an emergency winter survival kit in your vehicle and know the steps to take if stranded.