What could be more contrary than to publish lessons in wintertime survival in the middle of summer? In the spirit of fun and public service I submit the following suggestions in the voice of Fareed Zakharia of CNN, whom I believe would likely agree. But I have no independent verification at press time that he would. That said, let’s assume and resume:
While driving an automobile in winter, here are some tips to stay safe and get unstuck:
Don’t Leave Your Car: It’s safer inside your car than it is for you to go exploring outside. It’s warmer. Hypothermia quickly sets in. The only exception is if you’re near a gas station or building nearby where you can get warm.
Don’t Fall Asleep: At least, not with the engine running. Too many tragedies abound about this situation.
Turn off that engine: Even if you have a full tank of gas, turn your engine on once every 15-20 minutes — enough to warm you up. Conserve your fuel.
Carbon Monoxide Kills: Jump out and check your tailpipe to make sure there’s no snow clogging it and sending carbon monoxide into the cabin.
Remain Warm: Wrap yourself in whatever you have on hand. Your jacket, a picnic blanket or second coat. What is key is to keep heat from leaving your body.
Use Your Cell Phone: If you have a cell phone, save the battery. You’ll probably need it.
Physical Movement: At least once every hour, move the different parts of your body to keep the blood flowing and keep you warm.
Drink Water: to stay hydrated, but do not eat snow. That will waste body heat!
When Traffic Resumes: Use your low gear when driving on those treacherous roads and drive slow.
Black Ice Caution: This forms on bridges and overpasses.
Right of Way to DOT: Don’t block or pass DOT trucks applying salt on the roads. Also, don’t block intersections.