I was humbled over the weekend and reminded about why it's so important to keep things like extra blankets and sweaters in your car during the Winter months in Michigan.
It was a regular Saturday morning and I was, as per usual, craving some freshly baked croissants from my favorite local bakery. Sure, it was about 32 degrees out but, it was a quick trip so surely I didn't need to layer my clothing. A warm-ish sweater and some jeans seemed perfect. Until it wasn't.
I made it about five minutes down the road when my car broke down. I made it safely into an empty parking lot, thank goodness, but then came the inevitable wait time for a tow truck. The speed at which I began to shiver was eye-opening and, as I stated above, humbling. It was a stark reminder that, while I might have felt confident about what my journey would entail, you never know what could happen on the road and it's best to be prepared.
The Dangers of Being Stuck in Your Car in Freezing Temps
While my adventure was eye-opening, I wasn't really in any danger. My car broke down in a populated area with plenty of stores and gas stations within walking distance where I could comfortably wait for the tow truck.
But, what if I wasn't?
What if your car breaks down on a rural road? On the highway miles away from civilization? What if you're involved in a pile-up that will have you stuck on the road for hours and hours?
Despite what you might think, a person doesn't necessarily have to be in sub-zero temps to experience hypothermia. In fact, according to wanderingoutdoors.com, hypothermia can be experienced in temperatures between 30 and 50 degrees. Much warmer than most of us would imagine.
Here are a few things to keep in your car to help keep you safe should you find yourself stuck during the winter months in Michigan (even when it's not that cold outside):
- Warm blanket and warm clothes. Not the cute, soft kind that you can snag for $10. Make sure that blanket is warm. Same for the extra clothes.
- A car escape multi-tool. These are great for all seasons but, especially in the winter. They can cut seatbelts and break windows if need be.
- Water and food. Go for something like protein bars (versus cans that can expand and explode in both extreme heat and cold).
See the full list from huffpost.com.
It's really easy to get complacent with preparations. Especially, if you haven't experienced anything that would make those preparations necessary. But, you never know when disaster (or just a bit of bad luck) might strike.
As my Dad always told me...prepare for the worst, hope for the best.
Particularly if you live in one of these cities said to be some of the snowiest in the United States: