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Stranded in your car during a blizzard? Here's what you should do

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While you shouldn't be traveling during a blizzard, some motorists will inevitably become trapped on the side of a road while a major winter storm is ongoing. If a blizzard traps you in the car, here's what you should do:

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  • Pull off the highway. Turn on hazard lights and hang a distress flag from the radio antenna or window.
  • Remain in your vehicle where rescuers are most likely to find you. Do not set out on foot unless you can see a building close by where you know you can take shelter. Be careful; distances are distorted by blowing snow. A building may seem close, but be too far to walk to in deep snow.
  • Run the engine and heater about 10 minutes each hour to keep warm. When the engine is running, open a downwind window slightly for ventilation and periodically clear snow from the exhaust pipe. This will protect you from possible carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Exercise to maintain body heat, but avoid overexertion. In extreme cold, use road maps, seat covers, and floor mats for insulation. Huddle with passengers and use your coat for a blanket.
  • Take turns sleeping. One person should be awake at all times to look for rescue crews.
  • Eat regularly and drink ample fluids to avoid dehydration, but avoid caffeine and alcohol.
  • Be careful not to waste battery power. Balance electrical energy needs - the use of lights, heat, and radio - with supply.
  • Turn on the inside light at night so work crews or rescuers can see you.
  • If stranded in a remote area, stomp large block letters in an open area spelling out HELP or SOS and line with rocks or tree limbs to attract the attention of rescue personnel who may be surveying the area by airplane.
  • Leave the car and proceed on foot - if necessary - once the blizzard passes.

Meteorologist/Staff Writer

Broadcast meteorologist for 15 years (Marquette, Michigan; Burlington, VT; Albany, NY; South Jersey). NBC40 Chief meteorologist from December 2003 through December 2014. Press meteorologist since January 2015

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Here is Your South Jersey Forecast

THURSDAY► Partly to mostly sunny and warm with humidity beginning to increase. Highs in the low 80s along the shore, mid to upper 80s on the mainland. Winds becoming south around 10-15mph.

THURSDAY NIGHT► Partly then mostly cloudy overnight. Warm and muggy with lows in the low 70s.  Southwest winds around 10mph.

FRIDAY► Mostly cloudy, warm, and humid with a shower or thunderstorm possible. Highs in the mid 80s on the mainland, low 80s along the shore. Southwest winds around 10-15mph. Showers and thunderstorms are more likely overnight Friday into early Saturday.

SATURDAY► Cloudy with showers and thunderstorms in the morning, then drying and maybe some clearing later in the afternoon. Highs in the low to mid 80s with west winds around 10-15mph.

SUNDAY► Mostly sunny, dry, and pleasant with highs in the low to mid 80s. Northwest winds around 10-15mph.

MONDAY► Partly sunny with a scattered afternoon thunderstorm possible. Not as warm with highs around 80. 

TUESDAY-WEDNESDAY► Partly to mostly sunny and continued cooler than average for late June, with highs in the upper 70s to around 80. Light west to northwest offshore breezes.