You should stay off the roads during a blizzard or snowstorm if at all possible. But if you absolutely can’t avoid it, here’s what you should know.
First, stock your car with as many of these essentials as you possibly can:
1. Your fully charged cell phone, with a portable charger if you have one
If you get stranded on the side of the road during a snowstorm and can’t get yourself un-stuck, you should call for help immediately, Bill Van Tassel, Ph.D., an expert in safety education and manager of driver training programs at AAA, tells BuzzFeed Life. Call 911, and stay on the line with the dispatcher for as long as you need to.
You should also get in touch with loved ones to let them know where you are and what happened.
The portable charger pictured above gets good reviews on Amazon and is only $24.99. Get it here.
2. Flares or reflective triangles to increase your visibility
“It’s so people can see you and avoid hitting you with their own cars,” Van Tassel says. It’ll also help any rescue workers spot you in blizzard white-out conditions, day or night.
The reflective triangle pictured above is heavy-duty, and meant to withstand strong winds. It’s also visible during the day and the night. Get it here.
3. Blankets and/or sleeping bags
To keep you warm in case you have to spend a few hours — or a full night — in your car. This one from AAA is easy to store and has a fleece interior with a water-resistant exterior, and it’s only $19.99. Get it here.
4. An extra set of warm clothes, AND an extra set of regular clothes
If you’re stranded on the side of the road during a snowstorm, you’ll likely have to get out of the car a few times to take some safety precautions, Van Tassel says. That means you could get wet. “Fresh dry clothes can go a long way to help preventing hypothermia,” he says. So pack extra clothes if you can.
You’ll also want to layer up with extra winter gear (like a hat, a scarf, gloves, boots, etc.), so you don’t have to rely so much on your car’s heat. (Running the car for heat can waste gas, and also might expose you to deadly carbon monoxide gas).
5. Bottled water and non-perishable snacks
Keep a bottle of water in your glove box and a few in your trunk in case of emergency. And snack bars can be filling and tide you over in a pinch.
Nature Valley Crunch Oats ‘n Dark Chocolate granola bars — get them here.
6. A flashlight with an extra set of batteries
Keep it in your glove box. Helps you see what you’re doing when it’s dark out, and also helps increase your visibility in case someone is out there looking for you.
The flashlight pictured above is waterproof and shock-resistant, and it uses LED lights. Get it here for $23.77.
7. Sand or kitty litter
If your wheels are spinning and you just need a bit more traction to get your car unstuck, you can try putting down sand or kitty litter under the wheels to see if that helps, Van Tassel says. Another cool suggestion: “Pull out your floor mat, stick it under your tires,” he says. You can always get another one.
8. Standard car emergency tools: A jack, a shovel, a spare tire, jumper cables, tow rope, and some basic tools
A flat board for soft surfaces is also helpful, Van Tassel says, in case you get a flat tire and need to jack up your car to replace it.
The jumper cables pictured above are just $6.34. Get them here.
9. An ice and snow scraper and brush
If you’re stuck in your car on the side of the road, you’ll want good visibility from inside the car — that way you’ll know when someone is nearby and maybe can help, Van Tassel says. That means that you’ll need to keep your windshield clear and clean, which could mean scraping off snow and ice a few times over the course of several hours.
The scraper and brush combo above is only $10.37. Get it here.
10. First aid kit
For treating your small cuts and injuries until the emergency services arrive. This one gets 4 and a half stars on Amazon. Get it here for just $15.62.
And here’s what you should do if you get stuck in your car during a blizzard:
11. Do whatever you can to move your car out of harm’s way
“To whatever degree possible, you want to protect yourself from being hit by any other approaching motorists,” Van Tassel says. He suggests pulling off the road and stopping it along the back side of a guard rail or on a protected side of another vehicle. Moving it to the shoulder if you can will also help.
Pictured above is a video a bystander took of a recent tragic 193-vehicle crash in Michigan, where one person died.
12. Call 911 and let them know where you are
“We recommend calling for help as soon as you can,” Van Tassel says.
13. Set up flares or reflective triangles to alert people that you’re there
Turn your hazard flashers on, too. “You want to be as visible as you can to other motorists and rescue crews,” Van Tassel says.
14. Get out of the car and make sure your tailpipe is clear of snow. Do this repeatedly.
This will help keep you safe from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning when you run your engine, Van Tassel says.
15. Only run the car for a few minutes every hour to help warm yourself up
It sounds counterproductive, but you should keep a window cracked a little bit every time you run your engine, to reduce your risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, Van Tassel says.
16. Stay in your car for as long as possible
“If you’re safe in the car [meaning, if you’re not in danger of being slammed by oncoming traffic], it’s better to stay with the car,” Van Tassel says. “You’ve got a nice structure around you, all your gear is there, it’s going to be a warmer place, you’ve got some shelter — that’s what you want.” Only get out to clear out the tailpipe and and clean off the windshield for visibility.
Be safe out there, guys.
Retired Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, who for many was the public face of the Gulf War, has passed away in Tampa, Fla., at the age of 78. He is being remembered on Twitter tonight as an American patriot and hero.
General Norman Schwarzkopf was an American Patriot, whose distinguished leadership and service for his country will be long remembered.
— Eric Cantor (@EricCantor) December 28, 2012
RIP General Norman Schwarzkopf – one of the great American heroes. We thank him for his service.
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) December 28, 2012
General Schwarzkopf was a great patriot. My family’s thoughts and prayers are with his family.
— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) December 28, 2012
General Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr. has died. Stormin’ Norman – an American Patriot.
— toddstarnes (@toddstarnes) December 28, 2012
RIP Stormin’ Norman Schwarzkopf.
— JaredHalpern (@JaredHalpern) December 28, 2012
General Swartzkopf was a great American hero. May God bless him for his service to America.
— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) December 28, 2012
Norman Schwarzkopf has died, and George HW Bush is on the brink. Hard to believe Desert Shield/Desert Storm were more than 20 yrs ago.
— Ian McCann (@imccanntx) December 28, 2012
RIP Retired Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf. Died today in Tamp, FL. A true hero whose commitment to our country should never be forgotten.
— David C. (@TwittinSports) December 28, 2012
General Norman Schwarzkopf, thank you for your service to the country and may you rest in peace.
— Jeremy Davids (@HugeRedskinsFan) December 28, 2012
“It doesn’t take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle.”Norman SchwarzkopfRIP
— National Throws (@nationalthrows) December 28, 2012
As a Desert Storm vet, I’ll always have a soft spot for Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf. He spoke to our unit just before we attacked Iraq. RIP Bear
— Mike Glenn (@mrglenn) December 28, 2012
Gen. Colin Powell says in statementhe’ll miss his friend, Gen. ‘Stormin Norman’ Schwarzkopf, ‘a great patriot and a great soldier.’
— Laura Rozen (@lrozen) December 28, 2012
President George H.W. Bush, currently undergoing treatment in a hospital in Houston, issued the following statement.
Barbara and I mourn the loss of a true American patriot and one of the great military leaders of his generation. A distinguished member of that Long Gray Line hailing from West Point, General Norm Schwarzkopf, to me, epitomized the ‘duty, service, country’ creed that has defended our freedom and seen this great Nation through our most trying international crises. More than that, he was a good and decent man — and a dear friend. Barbara and I send our condolences to his wife Brenda and his wonderful family.
Favorite Schwarzkopf wisecrack: going to war without the French is like going hunting without an accordion.
— Jacob Weisberg (@jacobwe) December 28, 2012
Sad to hear of the passing of General Norman Schwarzkopf. A truly great American and a hero.
— Alan Danzis (@adanzis) December 28, 2012
Stormin’ Norman Schwarzkopf, Vietnam Vet, master strategist of the 1992 Iraqi war, concerned with the safety of his men… Rest in Peace
— Matt (@Conlee) December 28, 2012
General Norman Schwarzkopf was the epitome of a soldier and Army leader. He earned it from his time in Vietnam through Desert Storm.
— Eric Bandazewski (@EricBandazewski) December 28, 2012
RIP General, Retired Gen Norman Schwarzkopf has died in Tampa, Fla. A man who cared about his men more than himself at all times,Rare breed.
— Ron Frazier Crossfac (@crossfacewrestl) December 28, 2012
RIP Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf class of ’56 you gave a life of admirable service. That is to be honored and respected
— Tanner Van Essen (@TannerVanEssen) December 28, 2012
Join me in praying for General Norman Schwarzkopf’s family at this time of loss. A great Patriot and a model warrior.
— Ryan Higgins (@RyanHigginsUS) December 28, 2012
My General is dead. May Norman Schwarzkopffinally experience the peace he so bravely fought for his whole life.
— scottinnj (@scottinnj) December 28, 2012
Our country has lost a great leader today. Rest In Peace General H. Norman Schwarzkopf…You’ve left an indelible mark on this nation
— Liz Kurantowicz (@mrskurantowicz) December 28, 2012
I had the honor of serving under Norman Schwarzkopf… I would have given my life to support his ideal & profound belief in way of life #RIP
—Verified EricLAA™ (@EricLAA) December 28, 2012
RIP Norman Schwarzkopf. The consummate American military man. Had a job to do, and did it as effectively as he could.
— Southern Gooner (@MartinArsenalFC) December 28, 2012
— GoldenEagle (@GoldenEagle) December 28, 2012
RIP Sir it was an honor to serve with you Gen.. You will be missed…. fb.me/2a6fgo8jU
— algnn.com (@algnn2012) December 28, 2012
— David Cascio (@DavidMCascio) December 28, 2012
BREAKING: Retired Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf’s sister says he died of complications from pneumonia. -RD
— The Associated Press (@AP) December 28, 2012
Just last week, Twitchy told you about some Obama supporters’ bizarre and wholly unfounded fear that Mitt Romney would enslave blacks if elected president. Well, the paranoia ante has been upped about 50-fold; according to the latest conspiracy, President Romney’s ultimate goal would be to see the African-American population wiped out completely.
Behold the insanity:
“Mr. Romney, how do you plan to win the election?” “It’s simple… We kill the black man.”
— Alec (@alecdalton11) October 11, 2012
MITT ROMNEY = KILL AMERICA AND THE BLACK PEOPLE
— NOBODY LIKES ME(@BlackBoyChris) October 17, 2012
If Romney get elected he’sgonna poison the fried chicken and kill all the black people
— Ross Grant (@RossGee_) October 18, 2012
If Romney Wins He Gone Put A New Ingredient In Chicken To Kill All Black People! Lol.
— Â1 §¡ñçê Dâÿ 1™ (@TITTY_2CHINNZZZ) October 17, 2012
romney gone’ kill me because being broke will definitely kill a nigga like me .
— tnk. (@foreverHER__) October 17, 2012
Mitt Romney is like the bad guy in a super hero movie, nigga tryna take over the world and kill us all. Yup.
— EΔRL (@KushBruh) October 17, 2012
@lexisartis im fr !!! Romney gone kill us anyways yu black ass gone be picking cotton
— Made In Japan! (@ZanWit_DatLean) October 17, 2012
Mitt Romney Trynna Kill Niggas .
— Obama’s Cousin(@Born__Stunnna) October 16, 2012
Yoooo imma vote for that nigga Obama Romney tryin to kill us niggas
— Bumpy Johnson (@Aint_shit_Benny) October 14, 2012
Today’s poll question:Would you vote for Romney after you found out he wants to kill Black people and torture and imprison homosexuals?.
— bob bondi (@bob16066) October 16, 2012
Wow. That’s one hell of a poll.
Romney will kill you black fuckers tonight !!!
— Tag-Team Price ™ (@JaylinPrice_) October 17, 2012
Romney looks at black people like roaches. We disgust him, we’re just here, we’re annoying, so he wants to kill us.
— dope peddler. (@MACmonroee) October 17, 2012
Us black folks are already starving Romney is tryna kill us
— PABLO OCHOA (@buddy_escobar) October 17, 2012
Romney gone make black people kill each other cus if you not a Singer rapper or drug dealer you are middle class with one income for most
— 愛asia •__• 愛 (@Legit_Boss_) October 17, 2012
romney is gonna put posin in the blue drink in kill all da hood niggas
— banana(@evolvinghippie) October 17, 2012
Romney want niggas to kill themselves!!!
— Mahli A (@MsMahli) October 17, 2012
Romney tryna kill us black folks.
— ★ Bríanna ★ (@_iBeThatGirl) October 17, 2012
romney tryna kill all black people.
— ;♥_ LOW key . (@itsJustSley_XO) October 17, 2012
Romney gone take the food stamps away & kill all black people if he win. His uglass.. . .
— J A R M E E $ E (@Raawwwrrr_) October 17, 2012
Romney is going to kill us all. *Throws hands in the air* fuck.
— ScottieTooHottie (@ScottieBLykShih) October 18, 2012
“Without guns what will the blacks and mexicans have to kill each other with” – Mitt Romney
— Jimmy (@Jimamesdotgov) October 17, 2012
This Nigga Romney Gone Have Our Asses In Concentration Camps & Gone Kill Us In Gas Chambers & Have Us Livn Like The Jews
— Mainey(@IAmSaundersBoii) October 17, 2012
Damn I thought Bush was bad this nigga Romney trying to kill us!
— Devon Gee 3 (@HiiiPowerG3E) October 17, 2012
Like G Talk If Romney Win Im Packin Ma Bags Cuz Dhat Nigga Gonna Kill Every Single One Of Us
— TuPac Back ! (@Savage_Hoee) October 17, 2012
Romney want black people to kill each other, make his job easier. He dn’t gaf about murder in the hood. Obama from CHI, Romney #HOODCHECK?
— Gaddafi(@VivaLaAlien) October 17, 2012
Romney tryna kill the black people
— Arch_and_point (@Poonie_man) October 17, 2012
Of course his ass; wanna use guns so he can kill US Black PEOPLE; Romney ho’ ass
— Call Me Susie;) (@Adoree_MACCin) October 17, 2012
Romney just want black people to continue to kill each other til we extinct.
— PreciousJewel (@Born_a_Jewel) October 17, 2012
I really dont like Romney, im sure if it were for him he would kill all the black & Mexicans. . .
— Brianna Marquez (: (@_mibri) October 17, 2012
Romney gone kill all our middle class black asses if he becomes president
— ☜KissMyAss(@KittyCodeRed) October 17, 2012
but I’m a lesbian black woman so Romney will kill me off on the 1st day. “@hiphopgivesback: If you were raised in a single family home…RT”
— DE LA. (@whoaDELAMEG) October 17, 2012
Romney tryna kill us black people tho -__
— Skylyn Danay .. (@Ayoo_Sky) October 17, 2012
Romney is trying to setup the world in a way that there is more black on black crime so we can kill each other off. #myopinion
— Ms.Ambitious (@zreammuar) October 17, 2012
Obama Needs To Stay President Cause Romney Was A former KKK Member & He Will Kill All Black People If He Becomes President
— jourdejah (@BITCHxSaluteMe) October 17, 2012
Beg your pardon?
As the election draws closer, voices of reason may be more and more difficult to come by. So when we do run across one, it’s worth spotlighting:
Can we push race aside and at least listen to what Romney gotta say black people kill me sometimes
— Moonpie (@Moonpizzy) October 17, 2012
Hear, hear! These kinds of conspiracies are ridiculous and harmfully divisive. It’s time to take off the race goggles, stop the shouting, and listen. The truth really can set you free.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko addressed a joint session of Congress today, and asked U.S. lawmakers for military aid:
— NBC News (@NBCNews) September 18, 2014
Ukraine prez: We can’t win a war with blankets. Obama admin: How about $46 million worth of blankets? http://t.co/cQ8c37U9C1
— Andrew Stiles (@AndrewStilesUSA) September 18, 2014
Shortly after Poroshenko’s plea to U.S. lawmakers for help fighting Russian-backed separatists, State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki observed “Throwback Thursday” by thanking Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the cool hat:
— Jen Psaki (@statedeptspox) September 18, 2014
Psaki made the comment in response to a question to #AskJen:
You're welcome, twitter. pic.twitter.com/jXR5UkjGok
— BT (@back_ttys) September 18, 2014
This might be more of a question for Hillary Clinton:
.@statedeptspox do you still have the reset button?
— S.M (@redsteeze) September 18, 2014
Thanks to the innovative and ever-developing technology of the modern age, learning about where you came from is as easy as spitting in a cup.
Genetic tests revealing your ancestry and personal health-related information, such as the “23andMe” DNA test, are just a click away for consumers interested in examining their lineage — no health care professional needed. That’s why a lot people take them just for fun. But as described in these 12 testing stories, a person’s results can reveal seriously uncomfortable truths they never expected to face.
1. “My mom did 23 and Me this summer, it came back saying my uncle was only a half uncle. She asked family friends and it turns out my grandmother had an affair and passed my mom off as her father’s kid — a fact that my grandmother clearly intended to take to her grave but science caught up.” — reverendexile
2. “In my genetics class we do a blood typing lab and our teacher told a story about her first year doing it where there was a girl who had a blood type that meant her dad couldn’t be her actual father and the mom (who also worked at the school) got caught cheating.” — Xzeener
3. “A former coworker of mine took the test and found she had a different father than her sister and neither were related to their father. She decided to confront her mom about her infidelity. She found out that her mom and dad were into group sex and that the biological fathers could be a number of gentlemen.” — MTGothmog
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4. “So I did Ancestry. My father is ‘an eighth Cherokee’ and my mother ‘a little.’ They insist they’re ‘on the rolls’ somewhere. Ancestry came back 0% Native American. They’re not sure which is worse- did I get switched at the hospital or is their Cherokee heritage a lie?” — JustGreenGuy7
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5. “This is how my ‘brother’ found out my father wasn’t his father. I’m adopted and last year found my biological father and mother. One of my new brothers also took the test and we did not match, although I DID match with our father…and he did not. Found out mom had had an affair while father was in Korea during the war. Oops!” — Edrondol
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6. “My girlfriend got us tests for Christmas, and ever since posting about it on Facebook my mom has been sending her messages asking her to tell her the results before anyone else, including me.” — YoureRude
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7. “At Christmas my grandma told me her friend took a test and found out her dad was her mom’s OBGYN.” — parksy555
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