Winter Storm Informaton

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Stalled... But Safe

When You Become Stuck and Stranded

The first rule of survival when you become stuck and stranded in your car is to STAY WITH THE CAR! The only time you should dare to venture away from the vehicle is after the storm has gone down and you can easily see an occupied house. Your sense of direction is almost immediately lost when you attempt to walk in a blowing snow, white-out situation. When people are disoriented in a white-out situation, they tend to walk in a circle. The snow will have already filled in their tracks when they circle around to where they have already walked, so they don't know where they have been or where they are going.

Soft snow is one of the most difficult materials to walk in. A snow depth of more than 4 inches will cause a person to walk in an unnatural, bent-over position. This position, along with the effort of lifting the feet much more than usual to clear the snow, will fatigue a person very quickly. The cold and wind also accelerate the loss of energy. Very quickly, the body cannot expend enough energy to maintain strength and internal body heat. Hypothermia develops quickly. The distance you can cover while attempting to walk in a storm is a small fraction of what you can cover on a good day.

It is always better to stay in the vehicle where you are protected from the wind and cold. It requires much less energy consumption to stay with the car and minimize activity. Many more storm survivors are found alive and well in their car than are found walking around in the snow, wind and cold. Those who leave their vehicle are usually found frozen in a snowbank or draped over a fence, dead. Stay in the car and survive!

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