Why It’s Important to have a Car Kit

Stranded for hours on a snow-covered road, Priscilla Arena prayed, took out a sheet of loose-leaf paper and wrote what she thought might be her last words to her husband and children.

The article describes how hundreds of cars (and four wheel drive vehicles) were stranded in the snow.  Even snowplows couldn’t keep going.  Only snowmobiles could make it through.

Victims of the snowstorm waited helplessly in their cars for rescue overnight.  How much nicer their night could have been with some extra blankets, some handwarmers, a 36 hour candle or two, LED lantern and a good book to read.  Oh, and some hot cocoa.  For a great car kit, see this site on Doug Ritter’s most excellent Equipped to Survive

Snow shovels (climbing ones, super light and small) are a must when travelling in snowstorms.  You will need to keep your car from becoming buried and keep the exhaust clear.  Run the car at least 10 minutes every hour to keep the battery charged and the car semi-warm.  Cracking a window is unnecessary during a short idle.  Use the window-crack technique if you are using a combustible to heat the car.  Alcohol stoves or candles are all I would try inside a car, except white gas or butane stoves could work, but put something under the stove to prevent a car fire.  Don’t ever leave a combustible unattended in the car.

Use handwarmers to stay cozy while sleeping.  Put out all candles.  Place a strip of flagging tape on the antenna to indicate to rescuers you are inside and need rescue.  Use an alarm to get up every hour to clear away snow/run the car.

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