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Winter Survival Kit Phone App Can Help Stranded Travelers

The app helps users find their location, call 911, notify friends and family, and estimate how long they can run their vehicle to keep warm before running out of fuel

Now is the time to download the Winter Survival Kit smartphone app in addition to gathering a winter survival kit for your vehicles. The app is for people who live in areas where they might get stuck in the snow or slide off the road, and people traveling to wintery areas.

The free Winter Survival Kit app is available for iPhones and Android smartphones. It’s provided by the North Dakota State University Extension Service.

“The Winter Survival Kit app can be as critical as a physical winter survival kit if you find yourself stuck or stranded in severe winter weather conditions,” says Bob Bertsch, NDSU Agriculture Communication Web technology specialist.

Bertsch says the app will help users find their current location, call 911, notify friends and family, and estimate how long they can run a vehicle’s engine to keep warm before running out of fuel.

“You can use the Winter Survival Kit app to store important phone and policy numbers for insurance or roadside assistance,” he says. “You also can designate emergency contacts you want to alert when you become stranded.”

The app also alerts the user every 30 minutes as a reminder to turn off the vehicle’s engine and check the exhaust pipe for snow buildup, which is critical to avoiding potentially deadly carbon monoxide poisoning. Additionally, it provides information on putting together a physical winter survival kit, preparing a vehicle for winter driving and staying safe when stranded in an ice storm or stuck in snow.

“Even though your phone can find your location, call 911 and store contacts, the Winter Survival Kit app can help you stay calm when you may be in a dangerous situation,” Bertsch says. “The gas estimation gauge and alerts especially may save lives. Parents can have their less-experienced drivers download the app for peace of mind.”

The Winter Survival Kit app was developed by Myriad Devices, a company that was founded by students and faculty in NDSU’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and College of Business in the NDSU Research and Technology Park incubator. The NDSU Extension Service provided design and content input, and funded the project with a U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture Smith-Lever Special Needs grant.

For more information about the app, go to https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/extension/apps.

NDSU Agriculture Communication - Dec. 14, 2015

Source:Bob Bertsch, (701) 231-7381, Robert.Bertsch@ndsu.edu
Editor:Becky Koch, (701) 231-7875, Becky.Koch@ndsu.edu
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