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Winter travel tips: How to get vehicle unstuck from snow, list of emergency supplies to take with you

The 4Warn Weather Team expects an impactful winter storm to move through Southeast Michigan over the next 24-36 hours.
Snow is expected to reach the southern counties by 2 p.m. before moving into Metro Detroit by 4 p.m. The snow will continue to push into the northern counties through the evening.
—> Winter storm arrives Friday: What Metro Detroiters should know about snow, rain
What to pack if traveling during winter weather
The National Weather Service advises against traveling during hazardous winter weather whenever possible.
If you absolutely have to travel, you should make sure you have some emergency supplies in your vehicle.
The following items have been recommended by the NWS or the AAA:
Cell phone, charging cord and portable charger
Drinking water and/or sports drinks
First aid kit
Non-perishable snacks for human and pet passengers
Abrasive material (sand, salt, cat litter or traction mats)
Snow shovel
Blankets or sleeping bag
Warm clothing (gloves, hats, scarves)
Flashlight and extra batteries
Extra window washer fluid
Ice scraper with brush
Rags or roll of paper towels
Jumper cables
Warning devices (flares or reflective hazard signs)
Basic household tools (screwdrivers, pliers, wrench, small hammer, electrical or duct tape)
Tow rope
Waterproof matches
Road maps
Tips for getting car unstuck from snow
The AAA in Oregon has shared some advice on how to get your car out of snow if you are stuck.
The first step is to not spin the tires because that will only dig the vehicle deeper into the snow. To free a vehicle you need to clear away as much snow as possible from around the tires, under the vehicle and near the exhaust pipe.
After that, you should try to improve traction by scattering sand, cat litter or another abrasive material around the front tires for front-wheel drive cars or around the rear tires for rear-wheel drive cars. Special traction mats are also an option. If you don’t have anything, the AAA said vehicle floor mats may work.
Place the car in low gear (automatic transmissions) or second gear (manual transmissions) and apply gentle pressure to the accelerator. If the tires begin to spin you should ease up.
Another option is to try rocking the vehicle. Slowly move forward with the car in low gear (automatic transmissions) or second gear (manual transmissions). When the car won’t go forward anymore, allow it to roll back. When it stops moving backward, apply a little pressure to the accelerator again. Keep trying until the car is unstuck.
The AAA warns that rocking a vehicle for prolonged periods can cause serious damage to the automatic transmission or clutch. If you have other people with you, you can have them push to help the car rock.
The people pushing the vehicle should not stand directly behind the wheels due to the risk of flying gravel, sand and ice. Overexertion can be dangerous in cold weather.
If you cannot get the car unstuck you should decide if the weather will allow you to abandon the vehicle or if you should stay with it until someone can come help. If you are staying with the car and it is running, make sure snow does not block the exhaust pipe.
Download this auto emergency checklist from Michigan State Police



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