(ABC4) – Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase pack an “emergency kit” in your vehicle and thought what does that mean, or what should I have in it? ABC4 has decided to call up the experts for some helpful tips.
Officials at the Utah Department of Transportation tell ABC4 that in extreme conditions it’s recommended drivers have things like a shovel, warm blankets, water, food, a first aid kit, a gas can with extra fuel, an air compressor, and a cell phone charger on hand.
According to Mitch Shaw of UDOT, “Drivers can tailor it to where they’re going, and how long you expect to be out.”
But before you even head into an area that may be heavily impacted by a storm, officials say make sure your car is ready to brave extreme conditions, “You want to make sure your car is in working order, make sure fluids are topped off” says Shaw.
Depending on where you are in extreme conditions, UDOT officials say it’s best to take into account how long it may take emergency crews to get to you. While the easiest thing may seem like leaving your vehicle, they say it could make things even worse.
Shaw says, “You could be walking around in circles in snowy conditions, then you’re at risk for hypothermia stuff like that.”
If you happen to get stuck in a blizzard and trying to keep warm UDOT officials advise you not to run your car too long if you can help it. In addition, they say to make sure your tailpipe isn’t clogged with snow, or anything obstructing the tailpipe for that matter.
Shaw says “You’re at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning if you’re running your car and exhaust is not coming out of your vehicle.”
Ultimately, officials say keeping an emergency safety kit somewhere in your vehicle gives you a sense of comfort knowing that in stressful wintry situations you have the essentials to eliminate what could be a treacherous outcome.
Having it “could be the difference between life and death really,” Shaw tells ABC4.
You can also make an emergency kit from the previously mentioned items UDOT says there’s really no such thing as being overprepared that may help you either get out of a sticky weather Situation or at the very least help you stay safe until help arrives.