Winter Preparedness: What to Do If You’re Trapped in a Snowstorm

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Chicago, IL – With the first substantial snowfall of the season expected to bring 2 to 6 inches of snow to parts of the Chicagoland area on Monday night, residents are advised to prepare for potential winter emergencies, including being stranded in a vehicle. According to FEMA, key survival tips include:

  1. Stay in Your Vehicle: Remaining in your car makes it easier for rescuers to locate you. Leave it only if help is visible within 100 yards.
  2. Run Your Car Sparingly: To keep warm, run the engine for about 10 minutes each hour. This conserves fuel while providing heat.
  3. Check Exhaust Pipe: Before starting the car, ensure the exhaust pipe is clear of snow to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
  4. Use Available Resources Wisely: Keep emergency supplies such as blankets, flashlights, water, and snacks in your car.
  5. Signal for Help: Hang a bright cloth or place distress signals like flares to draw attention to your location.
  6. Stay Hydrated: Eat snow if necessary, but try to warm it first to avoid lowering your body temperature.
  7. Stay Alert: Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia. Keep moving your fingers and toes to maintain circulation.
  8. Charge Your Phone: Keep a charger in your car to ensure your phone is ready for emergency calls.

Remember, the best way to stay safe is to stay informed and avoid traveling during severe weather conditions if possible.

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