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Early spring snow storms dumped several inches of snow on Southeastern Idaho earlier this week, causing several car crashes and countless reports of stranded vehicles. This is the second series of early spring storms to roll through southern Idaho, and as a result we here are Parke Gordon would like to share a few storm safety tips. Driving in snowy weather is dangerous not just because of obvious road conditions, but also because of the post-accident risk of being stranded in severe weather in rural areas without communication or supplies. In areas with low population, getting into an accident and sliding off the road can potentially mean being alone for hours or even days. In order to reduce your risk of exposure and increase survival odds, it’s a good idea to put together an emergency checklist and safety kit. Even a minor injury can turn into a life-threatening situation in inclement weather. According to the National Highway Safety Institute, the following supplies and procedures should be a part of your storm-survival kit and checklist:

-Check your battery, tire tread, windshield wipers, make sure you have no-freeze fluid in the washer reservoir, and check your antifreeze.
– Keep an emergency kit including a first aid kit, clean water, crackers and chocolate, a flashlight, kitty litter, warning devices (such as flares), blankets, a candle and matches/lighter. You should also add any medication you need and an extra battery for your cell phone, if you have it.
– If you are stopped or stalled in inclement weather, stay in your car, don’t overexert yourself, and make sure you place bright markers on your antenna or windows and shine your dome light. If you are running your car, make sure your exhaust pipe is clear and run it just enough to stay warm. A few candles in the space of a car will keep you alive if you run out of fuel or battery in your car.
– If possible, avoid storm travel altogether.

In light of the recent storms remember to plan your route well and notify friends or relatives of your intended travel arrival and departure time. A little planning and some simple precautions can make all the difference in a roadside storm survival situation.

Stay safe out there.