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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:

  • 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

SUNDAY► Mostly cloudy, breezy, and muchcooler with a shower or two possible, but like Saturday, mostly dry.  However, easterly ocean breezes around 10-15mph will lead to Sunday being 30 degrees cooler than Saturday, with highs only around 45-50 for the second half of the weekend.

MONDAY► Mostly cloudy once again but milder with highs in the low 60s, and a few rain showers expected.  South winds around 15mph.

TUESDAY► Mostly cloudy with showers likely, probably the wettest day of the forecast.  Still mild with highs in the low 60s.  South to southwest winds around 10mph.

WEDNESDAY► Partly sunny and drier with highs around 60. Northwest winds around 10mph.

THURSDAY► Partly to mostly sunny and a bit cooler with highs in the low to mid 50s, seasonable for late March.

FRIDAY► Mostly cloudy with our next chance of rain.  Highs in the mid 50s.