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If you are considerate of the winter cold and if you live in an area where the cold is regularly life threatening, you probably have a car kit in your vehicle. That is a best practice at all times but you can really tailor that to the cold.
If you aren’t sure about what goes into a winter car kit we have articles about that, too! So be sure that you have the things you need on the roadside in a cold weather scenario. Most people in this nation go from their home to their preheated cars so its hard to sell the winter weather car kit.
With our without a emergency kit, the question that we are posing here is:
Is your car a suitable winter shelter in emergency?
There are a lot of things to consider in this. I think your car is as effective as you have prepared it to be.
What do you have inside to manage temperature? Things like blankets, candles, hand warmers and extra clothes can make all the difference for you in a car. You should pack some things that allow you to handle the cold in the car and insulate yourself as much as possible.
Of course, the temperature outside is going to affect what kind of shelter your car can be in a winter emergency on the roadside. Its always going to be better to be in the car rather than head out into the unknown, unless you can see where you are going and are a very close walk from help.
In below zero temperatures you can die very fast.
Another big factor in how effective your car can be as a shelter is how long you are out there. You have to be able to contact someone and let them know you are in danger. This means backup power for your cell and maybe some road flares, as well.
Outfit the car as best you can but know its only a temporary shelter in serious cold.