Survival Guide: What to Do if You Are Stuck in Your Car During a Snowstorm

survival guide
survival guide

Winter weather driving is more dangerous than driving in warm weather because snow, ice, slush, and sleet interfere with visibility, traction, and even vehicles starting. Every year, tens of thousands of people suffer injury or death because of winter road conditions. For many people, finding themselves stuck in their car during a snowstorm is intensely frightening.

Fortunately, it’s not a hopeless situation. You can take steps before and during the situation that will help you survive. Keep reading for our survival guide to being stuck in your car during a snowstorm.


The best hope for survival is simple avoidance. Always check the weather outlook before you leave your home.

You can watch the local news for weather reports. You can find weather forecasts online. You can even download weather apps that will give you detailed forecast information down to the hour.

You can also check for active weather alerts from the National Weather Service.


The next best step is preparing your vehicle for a potential disaster. That typically means putting key survival items into your trunk, such as:

  • Road flares
  • Survival blankets
  • Non-perishable foods
  • Batteries
  • Flashlight
  • Candle

You can assemble these items piecemeal from local retailers. You can also look for a pre-assembled survival kit. Make sure you look for one designed for vehicles since personal survival kits might exclude things you’ll need, such as road flares.

Stay Calm and Play the Odds

Panic will harm your survival odds more than almost anything else. A hasty decision can leave you in worse circumstances than just being stuck in your car.

Before you do anything, take enough deep breaths that you don’t feel panicked anymore.

Check your phone for service. If you have it, call emergency services for help. It’s your best shot of a rescue.

Don’t abandon your car. It’s automatic shelter from the elements. Unless you know superior shelter is very, very close, your car is your best option.

Get Visible

If you have them, put out a road flare. It increases the odds that someone will see you and stop. The high-quality flares will burn for around an hour, so put out a new one periodically.

Stay Warm Until You can Leave

Assuming you have an emergency blanket or extra clothes, bundle up. Run your car for 10-15 minutes every hour or so.

It should help provide a little heat. It also helps keep the battery charged up. Listen to the radio for weather updates, since that will help you know when it’s safer to leave on foot, if necessary.

Getting the Most from the Survival Guide

You can get the most from this survival guide by starting with preparation. You can’t use the tools and resources you don’t have on hand. Assemble or buy a survival kit and put it in your trunk.

You can also get a general survival guide book to keep on hand.

Prepare a survival guide tips checklist and put it in your glovebox. That put the information on hand for your review at the moment. specializes in survival kit reviews and prepping advice. Have questions or comments, contact today.