What to do if you get stranded in a snowstorm

Snow in Duluth
Commuters drove slowly on London Road in Duluth early on Friday, April 19, 2013. If you're out driving during a snowstorm, make sure you know what to do if you get stranded.
Dan Kraker | MPR News 2010

Brace yourself, Minnesota. A major snowstorm is headed our way.

Public safety officials will tell you to stay off roads and avoid driving during snowstorms, if possible, but if you can't — or won't — do that, make sure you know what to do if you get stranded during a snowstorm. Here are some tips from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

If you get stranded

Pull as far off the road as possible to minimize being hit by passing cars and turn on your emergency flashers.

Stay in your car. You could become disoriented and lost trying to walk in a storm.

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• If you haven't already, call 911 for help. Don't turn off your cellphone — it can be used to help rescuers pinpoint your location.

Attach a brightly colored cloth to your car's antenna or car door.

If it's dark, turn on your car's interior light so rescuers can more easily find you.

Run the engine occasionally to keep warm, about 10 minutes each hour. Use that time to run the heater or recharge your phone, if possible.

Clear snow away from the exhaust pipe. If you're running your engine, crack open a window for ventilation.

Avoid overexerting yourself. Pushing a car in freezing temperatures can cause a heart attack or make other medical conditions worse.