STAYING SAFE IN WINTER

Stuck in the Snow

Stuck in the Snow

“Drat”, Clint thought as the starter whined and whined but the engine refused to catch. “I’m really in it now.” Clint looked out through the windshield to the whirling snow tossed around by the wind and the piles of snowdrifts lining the road. He had passed a car about 20 minutes ago but had seen no more going in either direction since then. Now that the sun had set, he couldn’t see any further than his car’s headlights, and the air inside the cabin, once nice and toasty, was starting to develop a slight chill.

Clint knew he didn’t have much time before the slight chill turned into a gnawing cold that could easily freeze any exposed flesh. He silently thanked his grandfather, who had passed away last year, for instilling in him the habit of always traveling prepared in case of bad weather. Reaching across the passenger seat, he grabbed his coat and slipped it on. Then he reached behind him and grabbed a backpack containing a hat, gloves, and some spare clothes for in case he managed to get wet and needed a change.

With his core protected, Clint switched his tennis shoes for some Wellington Boots and prepared to open the car door. Knowing his cell phone may soon become his most valuable asset, he made sure to put it securely into his coat pocket, where he wouldn’t lose it and the insulation would keep the battery from freezing. He also reached over to the glove compartment and pulled out a spare battery and an electric torch, putting them in their own pockets. Fully ready to face the weather, Clint cracked open the door.

Getting Help

Immediately the whistling of the outside wind grew louder, and Clint braced himself for the full brunt of the stormy weather. Giving the door one last shove, he felt the door give way and the temperature inside the cabin immediately plummet. Making his way to the front of the car, he opened the hood he had cracked while still inside, and using his torch, tried to see what was wrong.

Snow Boots

The engine was still warm, so temperature wasn’t the problem. As he peered further into the engine, he noticed one of the lines had been cut, probably gnawed away by an animal judging by the frayed ends. For all his cold-weather preparation, he had forgotten to bring electrical tape. Knowing at this point he would need some help in order to get his car working, he quickly made his way back to to the cabin and climbed in.

He pulled out his cellphone and prepared to call the vehicle assistance services using his cell phone. While it rang, he turned on his Satnav so he could provide them with accurate location information. Thankfully, on the third ring the call was picked up. After Clint described his situation and gave his location, they said they would send someone out to meet him. However, the quickest they could get to his location was 2 hours, due to the snow piling up and the need to use a snow truck to clear the way. They asked him if he’d be able to hold out that long. Clint replied that while it wouldn’t be comfortable, he was well-prepared and would await them.

An Old Memory

Snowy Forest

Clint turned off the headlights to save power, and, reaching over to the back seat, grabbed some blankets that were on it. Reaching into the backpack, he pulled out some food he had stored in the front pockets. Nuts, chocolate, and dried fruit would provide him some quick energy without making him feel tired. As Clint settled in to wait, he reached into the glove box and pulled out a chemical hand-warmer in case he started to lose feeling in his hands. He knew sleeping was dangerous, but he didn’t want to use too much energy, so he focused on staying awake while moving slightly to keep his muscles loose and warm.

As he waited, his mind wandered. He remembered his grandpa talking about how he had been stuck in a Blizzard in ‘59 and how he remembered being thankful he was with an army buddy who had served as a mechanic in the War. Back then, there weren’t any GPS or cell phones, so hoping for a tow truck was a quick way to die. Thus, they always carried tow ropes and shovels so they could turn any passerby car into a rescue vehicle. They also carried First Aid kits in case the worst happened and they needed to immediately treat an injury. As Clint's mind returned to the present, he looked back and noted the location of each item in the car, just in case. He had also added a de-icer, something his grandpa didn’t have but that might come in handy if his windshield froze over.

A Friendly Rescue

Some time later, or perhaps no time at all, he heard voices outside the car. Looking up, he saw the gleam of headlights cutting through the glare and voices coming toward him. Straightening up, he tried to wave to them, but he wasn’t sure if they could see him through the storm. He tried to open the door, but it was shut tight because of the piled snow. However, he soon heard voices and the sound of someone rapping on the glass. Turning on his torch and shining it out, he could see the relieved face of one of his rescuers. Smiling a bit to himself, Clint now knew he’d make it.