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Be prepared: Drivers encouraged to carry a winter survival kits

PUBLISHED: 12:04 30 January 2019 | UPDATED: 12:04 30 January 2019

Snow drifts engulf the road to Ringsfield near Beccles during the Beast from the East last year.
Picture: Nick Butcher

Snow drifts engulf the road to Ringsfield near Beccles during the Beast from the East last year. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2018

As Norfolk sinks into a deep freeze drivers are being encouraged to make sure they carry a winter survival kit.

A shovel, spare clothing and blankets are all items drivers are being urged to make sure they have to hand when heading out on the roads in wintery conditions.

On Tuesday morning, many across Norfolk woke up to below freezing conditions and police urged people to take care on the county’s roads, which in the cold temperatures could be slippery.

Norfolk police tweeted: “With temperatures low and snow on some routes, please drive to the road conditions and take care on your journeys this morning.”

And, in a tweet, the council said: “Remember if you do have to drive in snow keep in as high a gear as possible (4th, 5th or 6th) to avoid wheel spin.”

Now, as the cold weather is set to continue and the Met Office has issued further weather warnings for snow and ice across Norfolk starting from tomorrow at 1pm and continuing until 9pm on Friday, drivers are being encouraged to make sure their cars are ready for the cold driving conditions.

Tim Alcock of LeaseVan.co.uk said: “It may sound unlikely, but if the weather turns particularly nasty whilst you’re out driving it’s entirely possible that you’ll find yourself stuck at the side of the road.

“Recovery and assistance vehicles will take longer to get to you if the roads are treacherous, so these items will keep you safe and warm until they arrive – or help you get out of a frosty muddle altogether,” he said.

What to carry in your car winter survival kit

1. A blanket, rug or sleeping bag

In the event of getting stranded or stuck in a vehicle in bad weather, you can’t always rely on the car’s heater and can quickly become cold so a spare blanket can become very important.

2. A shovel

A collapsible shovel can come into its own if your car gets stuck in snow or if you have to clear a path to park up.

3. Extra screen wash

In cold conditions the road chucks up little specks of dirt onto windscreens that can become smeared unless washed off properly. This can quickly obscure your vision, so make sure you keep extra screen wash with antifreeze properties to keep it from freezing.

4. Ice scraper

In really severe cold, ice can build up throughout the day meaning windscreens might need to be cleared before the evening commute.

5. De-icer

A specially formulated de-icer can make clearing windscreens significantly easier and quicker.

6. Snacks – chocolate or cereal bars

If you’re stuck waiting for a recovery vehicle or assistance for hours, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got a few rations to keep your energy up.

7. Winter clothing

A hat, scarf and gloves are winter survival kit essentials

8. First aid kit

This is an important one to keep in your car year-round, but it’s especially crucial in the winter because emergency vehicle response time may be slow if it’s snowing or particularly icy. This will allow you to administer basic first aid to yourself of the victim of an injury until assistance arrives.

9. Torch

Again a good one to have on hand year-round. A torch will come in handy if you stall or get stranded after night falls. It can also help to make you more visible to others on the road.

10. Phone charger

If you have to travel a long distance in precarious conditions, make sure your phone is fully charged before you leave the house, and take an in-car charger if possible. You’ll need your phone to call for assistance if you’re stuck or involved in a car crash.

11. Jump leads

Cold weather can affect a car’s battery, which means you might not be able to start the engine. Keeping your own jump leads in the car you can get back on the road quicker and won’t have to wait for a recovery vehicle.

12. Sunglasses

Although mostly thought of as a summer accessory, the sun’s reflection on snow can be really bright. Wearing sunglasses while driving will help to reduce the glare.

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