* Watch weather reports prior to any long-distance drive or before driving in isolated areas. Delay trips when especially bad weather is expected. If you leave, let others know your route, destination and estimated time of arrival.
* Keep at least half a tank of gasoline in your vehicle at all times.
* Pack a cellular telephone with the telephone number of your motor club, plus blankets, gloves, hats, food, water and any needed medication in your vehicle.
* If you become snowbound, stay with your vehicle. It provides excellent temporary shelter and makes it easier for rescuers to locate you. Don't try to walk in a severe storm. It is easy to lose sight of your vehicle in blowing snow and become lost.
* Don't overexert yourself if you try to push or dig your vehicle out of the snow.
* Tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna or place a cloth at the top of a rolled up window to signal distress. At night, keep the dome light on if possible. It only uses a small amount of electricity and will make it easier for rescuers to find you.
* Make sure the exhaust pipe is not clogged with snow, ice or mud. A blocked exhaust could cause deadly carbon monoxide gas to leak into the passenger compartment with the engine running. For fresh air, open a window slightly on the side away from the wind and be sure snow or frost does not block ventilation.
* Use whatever is available to insulate your body from the cold. This could include floor mats, newspapers or maps.
* If possible, run the engine and heater just long enough to remove the chill and to conserve gasoline.
* Always make sure your vehicle is in peak operating condition by having it inspected by a AAA Approved Auto Repair facility. There are thousands of AAA approved shops. You can find them at www.aaa.com or by calling your local AAA club.
Editor's Note: October is AAA Car Care Month.
Media Release Date: 8/20/03