As the country watches in horrified fascination, lake effect snow continues to fall in upstate New York. Measured in feet rather than inches, the snow has created an extremely dangerous situation for travelers in the area. Many people are stranded in their cars on unplowed highways.
To ensure you would survive such a scenario, take a few moments to make a car emergency kit. You’ll want to include enough bottled water and shelf-stable foods such as protein bars and dried fruits to last for at least 24-48 hours for all persons in the car.
Remember to keep your gas tank at least half full, and fill up if a storm is expected. If you are stranded on the highway in deep snow, keep the area around the exhaust pipe free of snow so that deadly carbon monoxide doesn’t back up into your vehicle. If you are stranded and don’t have enough gas to keep the car running, you’ll need another source of heat.
Keep warm woolen blankets in your trunk, and consider investing in some emergency hand warmers. You can also make a heating kit with an empty coffee can, some inexpensive tea lights, matches, and a glass pie plate. A few lit candles in the coffee can (on the pie plate) will put out enough warmth to keep you from freezing to death. Big thanks to my friend Jared Haftel for sharing this story on Twitter.