Let's say you swerve off the road in a snowstorm and find yourself stuck and alone. This is a pretty frightening scenario and one that could leave you struggling to survive. Following a few basic rules can help you make it through until the weather clears.
Keep an emergency kit in your trunk with the following items:
The No. 1 rule is to stay with your car. It provides shelter and is easier for rescuers to spot. Tell someone where you're traveling and what route you're taking. Take your cell phone and car charger along and dial 911 if you can get a signal. Start your car and run it for about 10 minutes per hour -- this will allow you to run the heater as well as ensuring that it will still start. The last thing you want to do is run out of gas, so keep a close eye on the needle.
You should also raise the hood to indicate that you're in distress. Ration out your snacks and water in case you end up stuck for a long period of time. Dehydration is common in cold weather, so drink about a cup of water per hour. Check the tail pipe to make sure it's not packed with snow. If it is, clear it -- carbon monoxide will back up into the car and kill you. Finally, tie your colored towel around your antenna and keep your dome light on at night so you can be seen.