Vehicle Winter Emergency Kits for Everyone’s Safety
Sandpoint Idaho is no different than most of our northern states. Come winter the snow is expected and looked forward to. As with most items the scales always tend to keep things equal. The beauty of the snow falling is beyond words sometimes. Along with the snow storms come a very real need for Vehicle Winter Emergency Kits for Everyone’s Safety.
The sign at the Sandpoint Visitor Center is showing the beauty and tranquility of the snow falling. Along with that comes the hazardous driving conditions of the snow bound states. Even without an accident one never knows what may happen to strand them in their vehicle unexpectedly.
While many will shake their head and say it can never happen to me…it does and can. Extreme low temperatures can suck the life right out of you. Don’t kid yourself into thinking because you are on a main Highway in North Idaho that someone can see you. I have seen cars hit by snow removal equipment because after an hour of snow they can not be seen as anything more than landscape. Night time only adds to all the dangers if unprepared
A small 6 foot ditch along side the road can completely hide your vehicle from sight in minutes. Imagine what a small ledge or hill can do to hide your vehicle. And it does not take an accident. Engine problems. Flat Tire. Avalanche or slide. Running out of gas. Spotting someone else in trouble. The list goes on.
Having a Vehicle Winter Emergency Kit may save your life or someone elses. Family visiting, or friends? Mention the importance of some of these items. Going on a ski trip to Schweitzer Ski Resort in Sandpoint Idaho? Why not have peace of mind knowing you are prepared for the unexpected.
I have copied and pasted from ‘Ready Wisconsins’ Emergency Kit List. This is an excellent list with great tips. After the list and tips I have included a link to a short video showing just how compact a kit can actually be.
- a shovel
- windshield scraper and small broom
- flashlight with extra batteries
- battery powered radio
- snack food including energy bars
- raisins and mini candy bars
- matches and small candles
- extra hats, socks and mittens
- First aid kit with pocket knife
- Necessary medications
- blankets or sleeping bag
- tow chain or rope
- road salt, sand, or cat litter for traction
- booster cables
- emergency flares and reflectors
- fluorescent distress flag and whistle to attract attention
- Cell phone adapter to plug into lighter
- Reverse batteries in flashlight to avoid accidental switching and burnout.
- Store items in the passenger compartment in case the trunk is jammed or frozen shut.
- Choose small packages of food that you can eat hot or cold.
- If possible, call 911 on your cell phone. Provide your location, condition of everyone in the vehicle and the problem you’re experiencing.
- Follow instructions: you may be told to stay where you are until help arrives.
- Do not hang up until you know who you have spoken with and what will happen next.
- If you must leave the vehicle, write down your name, address, phone number and destination. Place the piece of paper inside the front windshield for someone to see.
- Prepare your vehicle: Make sure you keep your gas tank at least half full.
- Be easy to find: Tell someone where you are going and the route you will take.
- If stuck: Tie a florescent flag (from your kit) on your antenna or hang it out the window. At night, keep your dome light on. Rescue crews can see a small glow at a distance. To reduce battery drain, use emergency flashers only if you hear approaching vehicles. If you’re with someone else, make sure at least one person is awake and keeping watch for help at all times.
- Stay in your vehicle: Walking in a storm can be very dangerous. You might become lost or exhausted. Your vehicle is a good shelter.
- Avoid Overexertion: Shoveling snow or pushing your car takes a lot of effort in storm conditions. Don’t risk a heart attack or injury. That work can also make you hot and sweaty. Wet clothing loses insulation value, making you susceptible to hypothermia.
- Fresh Air: It’s better to be cold and awake than comfortably warm and sleepy. Snow can plug your vehicle’s exhaust system and cause deadly carbon monoxide gas to enter your car. Only run the engine for 10 minutes an hour and make sure the exhaust pipe is free of snow. Keeping a window open a crack while running the engine is also a good idea.
- Don’t expect to be comfortable: You want to survive until you’re found.
Living in North Idaho will make! All content and images property of Mark Don McInnes unless otherwise stated. Not to be used without prior written permission.