Free Phone App Can Help Stranded Winter Motorists

The Winter Survival Kit app will help pinpoint your geographic location, call 911 notify your emergency contacts, calculate how long you can run your engine and alert you every 30 minutes to clear snow from the exhaust.

Published on: Dec 15, 2011

Here's something new to add to your winter survival kit in your car: A new app from North Dakota State University Extension Services.

A new smartphone application from the North Dakota State University Extension Service will help motorists stuck in winter weather.

The new Winter Survival Kit app can be as critical as a physical winter survival kit if you find yourself stuck or stranded in severe winter weather conditions, says Bob Bertsch, NDSU Agriculture Communication Web technology specialist. It's available free for both Android and iOS systems.

"Our app will help you find your current location, call 911, notify your friends and family, calculate how long you can run your engine to keep warm and stay safe from carbon monoxide poisoning," says Bob Bertsch, NDSU Agriculture Communication Web technology specialist.Bertsch. "You can use the Winter Survival Kit app to store important phone and policy numbers for insurance or roadside assistance. You can also designate emergency contacts you want to alert when you become stranded."

If you become stranded, the Winter Survival Kit app will help you determine your geographic location and contact emergency services. The app's gas calculator will help you estimate how long you can run your engine on your remaining fuel.

The Winter Survival Kit app will alert you every 30 minutes to remind you to turn off your vehicle's engine periodically and check the exhaust pipe for snow buildup. These alerts are critical in helping you avoid deadly carbon monoxide poisoning, Bertsch says.

The Winter Survival Kit app also provides NDSU Extension Service information on how to put together a physical winter survival kit, prepare your vehicle for winter driving and stay safe when stranded in a storm or stuck in snow.

The app was developed by Myriad Devices, a company based in the NDSU Research and Technology Park incubator, which was founded by students and faculty in the NDSU Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and College of Business. The NDSU Extension Service provided design and content input, and funded the project with a U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Smith-Lever Special Needs grant.

This is the second smartphone app developed jointly by the NDSU Extension Service and Myriad Devices with NIFA support. The Disaster Recovery Journal app lets users record information about damages as they enter their flooded homes using text, images and audio, and provides Extension information on how to clean or deal with flood-damaged items.

Learn more about the apps at http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/extension/apps.

Source: NDSU Extension Service