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updated: 12/13/2010 1:13 PM

What to store in your car for an emergency

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  • Cars throughout the Midwest were stranded in their cars as winter storms dumped several inches of snow and high winds caused high drifts, making some roads impassable.

      Cars throughout the Midwest were stranded in their cars as winter storms dumped several inches of snow and high winds caused high drifts, making some roads impassable.
    Associated Press

 
Daily Herald report

Snow-stranded motorists on U.S. 30 in Indiana are a good reminder that despite cell phones and suburban sprawl, Mother Nature can sometimes leave us stranded.

Experts recommend if you're trapped, be sure your car's exhaust pipe is clear of snow before leaving the engine running or you risk carbon monoxide poisoning. To maximize fuel efficiency, you should only run your engine for 10 minutes an hour. Turn on your headlights when you turn on your engine so you are visible.

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You should also stay in your car and hang a bright piece of clothing out the window or on your antenna to capture attention.

To keep your body warm, you should try doing small exercises every hour.

Here's what the Centers for Disease Control recommends as a winter survival kit for your car:

• windshield scraper

• blankets

• first aid kit

• booster cables

• flashlight and extra batteries

• brightly colored cloth for signaling

• collapsible shovel

• tool kit

• mobile phone

• compass

• road maps

• paper towels

• bag of sand or cat litter to use for traction

• tow rope

• tire chains for areas with heavy snow

• a can and waterproof matches to melt snow for water

• container of water and high-calorie canned or dried foods and a can opener

• canned compressed air with sealant for emergency tire repair

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