We’ve all seen the stories about hundreds of vehicles being stranded on closed roadways for hours during bad weather. Pictures from New England after this weekend's blizzard are surprising, even for an area accustomed to large snowfalls. Being prepared can make being stranded a bit easier and safer, even for a short time. Keeping an emergency kit in your car is a good idea year round but can be even more important during the winter months when roads can become dangerous quickly.
Watch The Weather
With the variety weather websites, apps, social media, and television stations, keeping up with the latest weather forecast is easier than ever. Many cities and counties in West Virginia have a special emergency app to keep you updated. Find out what your community uses. Many communities use the Heads Up Community App ( https://headsupemergency.com/ ). Check these sites before you go and never use your cell phone while driving. If you must check something on your phone, be sure to safely pull off the roadway and pay attention to your surroundings.
If you don’t have to travel during bad weather, stay home. While this option is not always a choice, be sure to play it safe when possible.
Even with careful planning, we all find ourselves in our vehicle during bad weather. Here are some essentials you will want to keep in your car. Consider keeping your emergency supplies in your back seat to eliminate the need to get out of the car to get them from the truck.
- Ice scraper with brush to remove snow.
- Cell phone and charger so you can call for help when needed.
- Blankets, gloves, and hats to stay warm.
- Bottled water and nonperishable snacks, such as granola bars or crackers.
- First aid kit
- Flashlight with extra batteries.
- Jumper cables
- Extra windshield washer fluid
- Material to help with traction. (salt, sand, non-clumping cat litter)