The big I-95 mess in Virginia left hundreds of people stranded in the snow and ice this week. Traffic was backed up for 40 miles, and some people were stuck more than 24 hours.
The Red Cross website has advice on what to do if you're ever in a similar situation. Here's what to do if you get stranded in snow . . .
1. Grab your emergency kit, if you've got one. Everyone should, especially if you're driving in winter weather. A good kit includes things like blankets, flashlights, non-perishable food, and water.
2. If you can't get help or find shelter, stay in your car. It depends on how bad the snow is. But in general, don't leave your car unless help is visible within 100 yards. It's easy to get turned around in a snowstorm and lose track of your car. Then you're screwed.
3. Don't run the heater more than 10 minutes per hour. That should keep you warm enough to survive, but also save gas. Just make sure your exhaust pipe doesn't get blocked by snow, or you could end up with a carbon monoxide issue.
4. If you've got passengers, huddle together to stay warm. And cover up with whatever you can if you don't have blankets.
5. Make sure someone knows you're in trouble. If the whole highway is jammed up, you're not alone. But if you're in a remote area by yourself, call for help. If that's not possible, tie a colorful piece of fabric to your antenna, or hang it out your window to let people know you're in distress.