RENO, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) -- Doctors and emergency responders have been saying that the Lovelock family did a lot of things right whiley they were stranded in the freezing wilderness and that's why their story has a happy ending.
the first thing, and maybe the biggest factor in their rescue, was that they told people where they were going. They also had warm clothing with them, which is just one of the things you should have on hand even if you aren't headed out to play in the snow.
"We never know when an emergency is going to happen," said Doctor David Fiore, wilderness medicine expert and University of Nevada School of Medicine professor. "They call them accidents because they're not planned."
Fiore said if you're not ready for a winter emergency, don't just wait for one to happen.
"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," he said.
Red Cross volunteer Elizabeth Morse said everyone should have disaster kits in their vehicles.
"You want emergency food, emergency water, a blanket, gloves for yourself," Morse said.
Fiore said water is vital, especially in cold weather.
"People would be at risk of getting dehydrated and then getting hypothermic or dehydrated and then getting frostbite," Fiore said.
So keep enough water for at least a day.
"The easiest thing to do is just get one of those gallon jugs that you can buy, fill it up, just always keep it there," Morse said.
When it comes to staying warm, Fiore said pack items to protect important areas.
"The head, the neck the armpits, even your wrists where the blood is closer to the surface," he said.
Morse said you should always have water-proof matches, kitty litter or salt and a full tank of gas.
"You're going to be idling for long periods of time just to keep yourself warm," she said. "That's going to use some gas."
If you do get stuck, stay put.
"We've seen this over and over again," Fiore said. "The most important thing is to stay with your vehicle."
Carbon monoxide poisoning can happen in vehicles, but you can lower the risks.
"[Make] sure the exhaust system isn't clogged by snow or something like that," Fiore said. "Turning it on, warming it up and then turning it back off, getting some fresh air in there."
No matter where you're headed, Fiore said you should be bringing emergency survival supplies with you.
"If you're going on some of these back roads in Nevada, it makes sense," Fiore said. "You could be stuck overnight. It may not be necessary to save your life, but it may make that night less miserable. Do it the easy way and just throw it in the back of your car in your first aid kit so it's always there and you don't have to think about it.
Morse also said you keep cold weather survival supplies in your home in case of a power outage during bad weather.