Prepare for driving in winter weather conditions

Published: Dec. 10, 2016 at 2:29 AM EST|Updated: Dec. 24, 2016 at 2:36 AM EST
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CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Lake-effect snow blanketed the northeast corner of Ohio and caused major backups on the roadways Thursday night.

The massive pileup left drivers stranded on the road for hours - a survival kit could help you if you're trapped in your car during a winter storm.

"Now is the time to prepare your car and be ready to deal with those challenges if you find yourself in that situation," Lt. Stephen Saunders said.

Have a survival kit in your car filled with items that could come in handy.

"Just make your own container. Really simple things to do like get a water, flashlight, flares, blanket, maybe some hand warmers. Just basic things that are going to keep you comfortable until help can come your way," Saunders said.

In the northeast Ohio's most recent pileup, the Lake County Sheriff's Office said it could take four to six hours to get help and clear traffic.

"Keep your car fueled as much as possible because if you get stuck in traffic, car breaks down or a big pileup, you could be sitting in your car for hours at a time," Saunders said.

The tank doesn't always have to be full, but it helps to not let the gauge drop below a quarter of a tank. A 2015 study by The U.S. Department of Energy said an idle car engine burns on average two-tenths of a gallon of gas per hour.

"It's a safety precaution. We want people to know that as they are out-and-about traveling for the holidays, going to visit family and friends and relatives to be mindful of preparing yourself for some of those potential challenges if you get stuck on the roads," Saunders said.

One other important thing to remember if you get into an accident on the highway is to stay in your vehicle until help arrives.

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