By Jeanine Biggs
For those with cars, snow storms can be extremely frightening and dangerous. One wrong turn or slip while driving in the slick conditions can send you spiraling out of control. During the snowstorm this past week I started thinking about what I would do if I ever got stuck on the road due to snow. Long Island is a place that experiences an array of extreme weather, including blizzards. During the snowstorm last year named “nemo”, there were a lot of pictures in our local papers of cars stranded on roads such as the Long Island Expressway. Getting stuck in the middle of a roadway is a likely situation for anyone brave enough to drive during a snowstorm. Would you be alright if you were stranded in your car in the middle of a snowstorm?
In my own case, I would not be alright, I would be extremely unprepared in an event such as this. Personally, I do not have any essential supplies in my own car in case of emergencies, which I know can be dangerous. “I have absolutely nothing in my car if there is a snowstorm,” Long Island native Kimberley Shwinge said. Although she has some items in her car that could be useful, Long Island native Christina Lark feels she is not as prepared as she should be. “I think I have an ice scraper, a blanket, and a shovel in my car, only because my mom put it in there. I don’t think I have used anything but my ice scraper though,” Lark said.
Although an ice scraper, shovel, and blanket are key items, there are more essentials that can be the difference between life and death if you are stranded for a long amount of time. During the winter you should have kitty litter to help with traction to get your car out of a snowbank, non-perishable food, water, a phone and a charger, some type of first aid kit, matches, and a flashlight. Honking the car horn every few minutes can help rescue vehicles locate you and hopefully help you out. If you have the chance to get out of your car be sure you do not lock yourself out and do not stay out of the car too long, get back in your car as quickly as possible to avoid any hypothermia. With the sometimes unpredictable Long Island weather, you should always have your car prepared, you never know when a storm may hit. If you are aware of a storm or blizzard coming, listen to local authorities and stay off the roads. Do not leave your house or wherever you are unless of an emergency. You are much safer in a house or building with heat and food then in a car on the side of the road. With so many drivers on Long Island, everyone needs to be aware of the precautions we should be taking to ensure our safety in case of emergencies in our everyday lives. During the impending snowstorm and more storms to come during this winter, make sure to stay safe and smart.