5 Things To Know If You’re Stranded in Your Car in Maine
It is hard to imagine spending 24 hours or more in your car, stranded on a highway. But we’ve all heard it happened this week in Virginia to many people.
If you haven’t followed the story, briefly, Hundreds of drivers were on I-95 between Richmond Virginia, and Washington D.C. when they ended up being stranded in their cars due to a couple of accidents.
First, there was a semi-truck that jackknifed, which triggered a chain reaction with other vehicles. This led to a 40 mile back up blocking the highway lanes in both directions earlier this week.
Not that we are used to getting 11 inches of snow in one storm very often here, but that much snow in one dump is extremely rare in Virginia. And there were hundreds of cars and trucks that were stranded on the road for a day.
In a winter storm.
They spent the night in their cars, many without food or water, worried about running out of gas as temperatures dropped into the teens.
As that story unfolded, it might act as a ‘tap on the shoulder’ to us in Maine that we need to make sure that we have certain items in our auto, especially when we get a winter storm.
Here are some things to keep in mind if, heaven forbid, you were ever trapped in your car in a storm in a winter storm.
Make sure that the emergency kit in your car or truck is up to date. Having things like a blanket in your kit could save your life. Flashlights, batteries, non-perishable food, and water too.
If you can’t get help, or you can’t get yourself to a safe shelter close by, stay in your car. It would depend on how heavy the snow is, but if there’s isn’t a safe place within 100 yards, stay in your car.
Only run your heater 10 minutes an hour. That should keep you warm enough to survive, and save on gas because you don’t want to run out of gas. That blanket makes even more sense now right.
If you have a passenger or two in the car, huddle together to stay warm.
Of course, you have used your cell phone first and made sure people know you are stranded. Emergency crews of course, but your family and a friend too.
If you have a sign or a hunter orange piece of material in your trunk, tie that somewhere on the exterior of your car, just in case someone passes by. That might help them realize someone is stranded.
And of course, there is more stuff we need to survive a Maine winter, stranded or not.