Safety when stranded


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Driving around much of the state has become hazardous due to this winter storm.

So what should you keep in your car in case you get stranded?

April showers bring May flowers may no longer be the saying when spring time arrives. 
Instead, people across KELOLAND may be wondering if the May flowers will come at all.

“It’s very South Dakota. A snow day in April? Why not. It’s better than the ice apocalypse we had a few years ago,” Zachary Swanson said. 

The message during these conditions is to stay off the roads if you can, but like many, Zachary Swanson had to work. 

“I’m lucky enough to live on a snow emergency route so getting to work I was able to take that and the major roads. But even coming to work it was kind of… I’m glad that I only have to be on the road a couple of times today,” Swanson said. 

If you do have to drive in these conditions it’s important to have a safety kit ready to go. Including things like warmer clothes, a blanket, a water and even a phone charger. 

Sioux Falls Fire Rescue Division Chief Steve Fessler says before heading out make sure to tell someone where you’re going.

“Tell family, friends or whatever that you’re leaving at a certain time so they know when to expect you to arrive where you’re going,” Fessler said. 

If you don’t make it to your destination stay in your vehicle until help arrives.  

“You can get lost with blizzard conditions like this, the whiteout. It gets very difficult to see and you lose track of your direction and where you’re trying to go,” Fessler said. 

If your exhaust isn’t snow covered, he suggests running your car for short periods of time to keep you warm while conserving fuel. 

And while it seems like common sense, when the road is closed drivers should find another route.

“Some people, I don’t know why will go around the gates and venture on and they end up having issues and it’s a matter of waiting until someone comes to assist,” Fessler said. 

Which Fessler says could take some time, depending on how many others are stranded in the area. 

“If you have to go out and about, be smart about it. Be prepared and be aware of your situation of what you’re dealing with,” Fessler said. 

To check road conditions before starting your commute, call 511 or click here.

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