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In Record Winter Storms, OnStar Another Way to Summon Help

Sections: Car Safety

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Cars at a dealership in Hartford, CT peep out of melting snowdrifts left by Winter Storm Nemo

Cars at a dealership in Hartford, CT peep out of melting snowdrifts on Sunday, Feb. 10. The drifts were left by Winter Storm Nemo, which dumped 22.3 inches of snow on the city. (Jessical Hill photo courtesy Associated Press.)

When record winter storms rage, the best advice for any driver is to STAY HOME! But for those who can’t, or those unfortunate souls who get caught away from home during the worst of a storm, OnStar can assist them in summoning help.

GM was on top of winter superstorm Nemo, which dumped record snowfall totals on cities in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Connecticut. While GM’s official recommendation echoed our own, above, and that of Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, OnStar Crisis Incident Manager Mary Ann Adams said, “We are here to help before, during and after the storm.”

According to GM, more than 1 million subscribers of OnStar services live in the areas affected by the recent storms in the Northeast, and all of those subscribers have access to OnStar’s Crisis Assist Services, which can be called upon by pushing the red emergency button or the blue OnStar button that connects to a live adviser.

Once connected, OnStar advisers can provide the following, according to GM:

  • Emergency services: Advisors can connect and direct emergency responders to the exact location of a subscriber in need using OnStar’s embedded cellular system and Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite technology.
  • Routing assistance: Advisors can provide alternate routes, evacuation routes, and directions to hospitals, hotels or shelters.
  • Central point of contact for assistance: Advisors can provide crisis information and centralized assistance when subscribers need, for example, weather updates, hotel accommodations or help reporting power outages or road closures.
  • Keeping subscribers connected: Subscribers without power in their homes and who are unable to recharge their cell phones or are having trouble getting cellular service can use OnStar Hands-Free Calling to stay connected and reach loved ones.
  • Reporting new incidents: OnStar encourages subscribers to be Good Samaritans and contact an Advisor when they witness a dangerous situation or someone with an emergency need, so an Advisor can inform public safety officials.

Whether you’re an OnStar subscriber or not, we recommend you keep a winter survival guide with you through the cold months (go here for a good example of what to pack) and whenever possible, stay home during inclement weather.

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