The story of Kristen and Avery Hiebert’s night stranded in their vehicle after it went off the highway in Westman has more people thinking about preparing for a winter road trip.
CAA Manitoba’s Liz Kulyk says rule number on when you’re headed out on the highway is to make sure someone knows you’re travelling. Tell them when you’re leaving and when you plan to arrive, so they know if you don’t show.
“I know myself, if my husband says ‘I’m driving from Winnipeg to Brandon and I’m leaving at 10 am’, if he doesn’t call me by 1 pm to say ‘hey, I’m there, I’m safe’, I’m going to start to worry and I’m probably going to start to act,” she said.
Kulyk says you shouldn’t rely on just your cell phone as a lifeline because signal can be spotty in rural areas.
She says make sure to pack enough food, water and blankets for everyone in the car.
A candle, even a small one, can generate a surprising amount of heat in an enclosed vehicle.
“That’s the best thing you can do to keep warm. It might seem silly that lighting a tea light in your car will keep you warm, but if you keep all the windows closed and everybody’s in there, the residual heat from your bodies and the candle should keep you warm overnight.”
Other handy things to keep in your car for winter include kitty litter or traction matts for if you get stuck, a flashlight, waterproof matches and hand warmers.