This week has been crazy considering the fact that the university was closed on Monday due to weather. Luckily, I made it back early enough to miss the storm, but others were not as fortunate.
Several people I am friends with were stuck in ditches overnight, lost, or stranded at truck stops. It was dangerous for anyone to be out in these conditions and I am glad that everyone made it back to Macomb safely. But in case another situation like this arises, I think that it is best to give people some pointers on how to be prepared in case this occasion occurs again
First, you should always be checking the weather before you start your road trip. If you know that there is a storm on the way then plan to leave ahead of time. There are several items that could be stored in your trunk to help out in the occurrence of a winter storm. Gloves, blankets, water, snacks, and hand warmers are essentials in the winter months that I always keep with me somewhere in my vehicle. In the case of any issues these are things that will help keep you warm, hydrated, and somewhat fed for at least 24 hours. There are other things like salt or even sand that can help get your car moving if it is stuck. Putting sand under your tires will help give it traction and might save you from just having your tires spin continuously.
So, if you get stuck there are things you should and should not do. Always try to make sure that your car has a decent amount of gas in it. A full tank of gas can run in a stopped car for almost 20 hours. The next thing you should do is to make sure you have a device to call for help. The other night the roads ended up being so covered that it was hard for police, tow-trucks and other rescue vehicles to make it to people, but letting them know your location will allow them to help the best they can.
It is also important that you try to stay in your vehicle if possible. Getting out of your car will start to make you cold and it can often be hard for you to warm back up if the right supplies are not available. Stay in your vehicles and stay as warm as possible.
With winter being my least favorite season, I think it is very important that everyone stay as safe as they possibly can. Obviously things happen, and you cannot prevent yourself from hitting black ice or not being able to see the road ahead of you. But if you do get caught in a storm and it really is that bad, then please be safe and pull over.
You may not be able to afford a hotel but you can get gas and sleep in a parking lot in your car. It is always better to be safe than sorry!
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