Virginia’s snowy I-95 traffic jam invites call for better preparedness for the unexpected – I love Fox’s headlines


Virginia’s snowy I-95 traffic jam invites call for better preparedness for the unexpected Some drivers were trapped in traffic for more than 24 hours on Interstate 95


  • Comments (12)

    • 4

      Maybe the headline… but not the story.  The writer calls for more GOVERNMENT preparedness & ignores our personal responsibility.

      When I saw what happened there in that traffic jam, my first utterance was, ” Heck, I wouldn’t be hungry or thirsty and I’d be able to keep warm”.   Between my get home bag and my other supplies stashed in every nook & cranny of my truck, I’d be good for days.  Just yesterday my wife looked in my truck and asked if I wanted to bring inside any of my jackets that I keep in my truck.  Told her nope, they were in the truck for a reason.

      And I live in Mississippi.  

      • 3

        I’m with Redneck and agree that it is a person’s main responsibility to be prepared and everyone should increase their personal preparedness.

        One part of the article that I liked is how municipalities should routinely drill on potential disaster response situations. 

        It isn’t the responsibility of the government to come save us all, but the more they practice, drill, and prepare themselves the better it will be for everyone. There will always be those who are unprepared and need rescuing. As for me and my family, we will do our best to not be a burden on the system so they can focus more on those who haven’t had the chance to prepare as much as we have.

        The Virginia traffic jam was a wake up call for me to double check my vehicle preps and make sure I am not put in the same situation. Exposure of these events is the greatest tool to make change as we see and recognize what could happen to us.

    • 2

      A good reminder to add a pee bottle and a couple of wag bags to one’s normal vehicle preps . . .

      • 1

        And a she wee for the Femmes

    • 3

      Be it the US of A or the UK one common flaw shared between two nations is the amount of bloody idiots who dont check the TRAFFIC NEWS and the WEATHER FORECAST before setting out.

    • 4

      Have to agree with the other comments. It’s our own responsibility to make sure our vehicle is equipped with necessities and we’ll be okay on the road IF we’re dumb enough to strike out during a blizzard forecast! One thing I noted in the article was that the freeway was closed only after the big pile up and jam up occurred. When I lived in Michigan (30 years ago), it was common for the State Police to close freeways before things got too bad. 

    • 2

      The same thing happened 15 years ago in NE Pennsylvania between Allentown and Scranton.

      I spoke with a PennDOT crew at a gas station and asked why they weren’t plowing and they said they were told to wait while the heavy, wet snow fell until the regular snow started falling. (?!@#) the problem was, it didn’t change over and dropped to 5F. Over a 75 mile loop many hundreds of people spent the night on the road. The slushy snow froze so hard the state had to clear it with bulldozers.

      Many volunteer fire departments ferried water and snacks via snowmobiles to motorists.

      Most of this area was very rural so there was no where to walk out to.

      I was not in this mess but would have been ok with our normal stuff. I did add ‘Montana Heaters’ afterwards though.

      I cannot find the original link but North Dakota has a similar page:


      • 1

        Didn’t know what it was called, I have the components in my truck.

        4 bottles of HEET, metal coffee can, full roll of toilet paper, and a Bic lighter.

      • 1

        That might be called a carbon monoxide generator…..

      • 1

        That is a very valid concern but isopropyl alcohol does not create carbon monoxide when it burns but it does create a water vapor.

    • 2

      I think that this is an opportunity for the government at all levels to learn the lesson to encourage and support personal responsibility in preparation.  The book “The Unthinkable:…” by Amanda Ripley has really opened my eyes to how authorities distrust regular people in emergencies and how, historically, proposed solutions don’t include us.  The expectation of public panic by authorities means no full disclosure of why and actually what to do in potential emergency situations so when information is released, the panic bias is reinforced by panic buying, etc.  I am absolutely positive this is not the first time Virginia has had rain followed by snow and low temperatures.  The weather is not unprecedented.  More likely, this was the first time current planning, resources and policies have had to deal with it.  And given Shaun points out Pennsylvania had similar issues, states are not learning from each other and probably don’t have the resources to do so either.  This would be a large cultural change in the Emergency Preparedness leadership at all levels.  

    • 1

      Interesting personal account. https://www.theorganicprepper.com/i-survived-the-i95-gridlock-for-16-hours/

      Both personal preparedness and government action are necessary. There are now numerous sits on preparing your car, with advice on what to do if you find yourself in that situation. But public authorities should act as well. Announcements of the impending storm and its likely effects on road conditions should have been announced much sooner on every news outlet, and from the first jackknifed truck, the road should have been closed and warnings widely broadcast. Doing that immediately would have prevented the pileup of thousands, and maybe they could have extricated motorists and put them in hotels. In Pakistan recently, something similar happened on a road near a ski resort, and 22 died of hypothermia, including ten children.