A disabled or stranded vehicle could potentially be a life or death situation due to cold temperatures and extended response times for police and tow truck drivers. If you do venture out, let someone know your route of travel, and keep your gas tank full when driving in cold weather. Pack a winter survival kit of blankets, extra warm clothes, a flashlight and extra batteries, a brightly-colored cloth to tie on your antenna for visibility, sand or a bag of cat litter to use for traction, a shovel, candles and matches, non-perishable, high-calorie foods like nuts, raisins and protein or energy bars, newspapers for insulation, a first aid kit and jumper cables.
Should you become stranded, your car is your best protection. Stay with your vehicle. An idling car only uses an average of one gallon of gas per hour, so don’t panic. Crack your window in order to get fresh air into the vehicle, and make sure the exhaust pipe is not blocked in order to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
Leave your dome light on at night. Carry a cell phone and charger with you so you can call for help if necessary. Remember, ice and snow, take it slow. Also wind gusts and blowing snow cause bridges and overpasses to freeze. If your vehicle starts to slide, don’t panic and slam on the brakes. Calmly steer into the direction of the spin until it straightens out.