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What to do if you get stranded in a snowstorm

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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. 

• 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.