The most extreme situations during survival require a creative approach if you can conserve what you have. Although being in a car and using it for protection may lead to other challenges. Preparedness beforehand is key if you are traveling across a long-distance trip, and it may be the case where you’ll hit storms, blizzards, and road shutdowns. Suddenly, a trip that you thought took a day may extend to staying somewhere overnight. In this case, a good example is becoming stranded in a desolate area in the middle of a snowstorm.
How to be Prepared
Although, it’s a rare case that you may find yourself stranded due to your car breaking down. A list of things that can be stashed in your car. The most that you can do is have a good list of certain items that can be multi-use for different situations. A key issue that may come up is not having your car properly winterized and being ready for the winter conditions. Anything as simple as having the tires rotated or changed to snow tires. Here is a list of things you should keep in your car.
-Essential medications and Travelers First Aid Kits – This should comprise the usual first aid such as bandages and pain-relieving medication. It is also to keep up to date on anything that could go bad.
– Flares and/or reflectors for signaling help and to warn drivers- Road flares are varied in price but usually come in a set. In some cases, cars come with a set of safety equipment and tools for when you’re broken down.
–Flashlight or survival kit with extra batteries- Having multiple light sources are good, and having lights for different purposes would help you. A good option is a headlight that can be worn or any light that can be kept on your person.
-Tire chains and/or tow straps: This a great preventative measure; tire chains come in different sizes, and finding one that fits by the diameter and width in centimeters is the usual style of measurement.
-Snow brush and snow/ice scraper- This is a great tool for driving and or keeping the doors and windows from freezing shut.
–Emergency Thermal Survival blanket and Sleeping Bag for cold weather- Having both a survival blanket and sleeping bag is great. A person could use the survival blanket for extra insulation on windows, and They could use the sleeping bag for rest and comfort. Having these will ensure that you can maintain heat even when the temperature is dropped below zero degrees (Fahrenheit).
-Extra Food and Clothes- Having good quality thermal ware is always better than normal clothes. Many people assume because they are spending hours in the car, they won’t need extra warmth but, that is not true when in winter weather.
-Non-clumping kitty litter- Kitty litter is a great way to loosen the snow when your car is stuck. Alongside using a snow shovel. Sprinkling it around the back and front of the tire will work.
-Jumper cables-A common tool that may have come with your car. It is a tool that you hook to the car’s battery and each battery post, one positive and one negative. The cables themselves are color-coded, usually black and red but read the exact instructions on how to do it (A guide may come with the set of jumper cables that you can refer to.)
The best outlook to have when stranded is to be hopeful about being found. It is evident in most cases that every chance you take to leave your car when a storm is brewing is a risk. To avoid as much risk as possible. However, if the storm is cleared out, then make sure you can get an understanding of where you are. Put identifying markers out that your car is broken down, keeping the hood open, tying a colorful bandana or scarf to the radio antenna for extra visibility of someone who can see it from a distance. If possible, use the kitty litter to loosen snow that may have your vehicle trapped, even if it is broken down but, it would be best to use it when you know that you are getting rescued.
To conserve body heat, move your limbs and keep circulation going. Just the simple gesture of clapping your hands or moving your toes will help. Even using something to insulate windows would help. For instance, a windshield sunshade usually comes in handy during hot days–the reflective material (much like a heating blanket is good to cover whatever windows you can. Running the engine for 10 minutes every hour may help to keep warm will be helpful. Drinking water while also conserving food and water for as long as you can is a good step to take, and keeping a gallon of water in your car is probably the best precaution for dehydration.
Most of these guidelines and tips apply to one person or a group. Still, the key to survival as a group is maintaining the resources you can, including food, water, and sources of light and battery power of the car. Manage boredom by giving a certain task to each individual and use whatever entertainment you have when waiting is all you can do. If you can use the resources around you outside of the car, do so whenever possible.
Before going on a long trip or a trip where you will be on your own, it’s important to let family members and friends know where you’re going. Be sure to also have a weather alert notification system on your phone or being up to date on the weather by whatever means is possible, including TV, radio, and internet. Having a form of entertainment or distraction may help, although you still be uncomfortable, a book or some form of entertainment that doesn’t use electricity could go a long way.
Mindset is also another pillar of survival. Being positive and looking for the good always helps. The advantage is having a premade shelter (i.e., a car) that will prevent unwanted exposure to the elements, and simple comforts can go a long way. The odds of a storm passing are inevitable, and having a plan for when it clears is crucial to making a mental list of what you can do to help your chances of being found. If it clears out the next day, it would be a perfect opportunity to see if you can find any identifying landmarks of nearby civilization, get to a spot where your phone has a signal, and call for help.
The best lesson to learn from all of this is to be prepared even in the most basic ways. It is best to have at the very least 2 or 3 of what is on the list. The best way to keep from getting lost and breaking down is staying on maintained highways and roads. Even if you get stuck in the snow, a winning combination of willpower and improvisation will help or having the ability to call for help works. When getting stranded, it is best to start planning as soon as possible.