Though she survived this dangerous incident, the likelihood of others coming out the same isn’t very good. It is smart to be prepared for subzero temperatures – especially when you get stranded in your car. The first thing to remember is to stay put. Jean left her car thinking she could make it to a house she knew was nearby and still didn’t make it. If you can start the car, it is good to run it for about ten minutes at a time with the heater on with breaks so you don’t use up all of your gas and make the heat last as long as you can.
If the car is completely dead, make sure you have a handy emergency survival pack. It is great for most times of the year and can be crucial during winter. Just some things you should remember to include are: blankets, flashlights (with batteries), food, water, candles, a first aid kit, and flares (and/or a red bandana). Blankets, extra clothes and candles are all great for heat, and you may need food and water depending on how long you are stranded. Flares, flashlights, and bandanas are great for advertising your location to others so you can be found even when the snow is falling. All you can do at this point is sit tight and try to stay warm and alive.
Remember, you can’t be too prepared during the winter months. Temperatures can get pretty cold, especially at night and if you are stranded you need to know what to do to stay warm until help can arrive. Hypothermia and frostbite can sneak up on you fast and are both incredibly dangerous. You could just lose a few fingers, but you could also lose a whole limb. Make sure to check out this handy guide before you take your next night trip in the winter. Check out the video to learn more about Jean’s horrible night out in subzero temperatures.
Nineteen-year-old Jean Hilliard froze solid when she tried to walk through the blistery winter weather in Lengby, Minnesota on December 20, 1980 after her car quit and left her stranded. She set off for a friend’s house she knew was nearby, but it ended up being farther than she thought and she collapsed not far from their front door. She was discovered after being left outside for 6 hours and taken to a local hospital. No one had any hope for her survival, but 49 days later she walked out of the hospital alive and healthy. All written reports say she walked away fine, though there doesn’t appear to be any information on her after leaving the hospital.