How to Survive a Blizzard: Collaborating with Clean Cities at the WV Auto Show

Where were you when Winter Storm Jonas hammered the East Coast with record snow levels? Bundled up around a warm fire with a steaming cup of hot cocoa in hand? Out making a life-sized snowman in your backyard? Or were you tucked into bed reaping the benefits of school cancellations and time off from work?

While most people were binge-watching Netflix from the comfort of their couch, our WVU EcoCAR 3 team was in Charleston for the West Virginia International Auto Show. I bet you’re wondering how we survived the more than 42 inches of white stuff that pounded the state. Here are a few secrets to surviving a blizzard should you find yourself trapped at an auto show.

  1. Safety First. Take a vehicle with four-wheel drive.


Once it started snowing, an inch quickly turned to two, then three and four in less than an hour. Luckily, we were almost at the event location when the snow came pouring down, but making the trek in a heavy-duty truck was a smart decision.

  1. Meet up with friends to pass the time.

When you are stranded at an auto show in blizzard conditions, you will be spending a lot of time inside. Make sure that you have someone to keep you company and to share the experience with because no one wants to be trapped inside alone.


We met up with Clean Cities Coordinator, Tiffany Bailey for test-drives at the auto show and our display was set-up beside the Clean Cities booth, which gave us plenty of time to bond.

  1. Have fun!

With record snow left behind by Winter Storm Jonas, our team had access to all the fun face-in-hole posters without the pesky lines.



  1. Take advantage of the vehicles on display.



Our team ventured around the Charleston Civic Center and found not only a 2016 Chevrolet Camaro, but a classic version of the performance vehicle as well. It was amazing to see how this iconic car had transformed over time and even more amazing to think about how we will be taking that transformation one step further.

  1. When you do decide to venture outside into the white abyss, be sure to wear snow boots.



Our engineering manager Justin Brumley and Clean Cities Coordinator Tiffany Bailey both found out the hard way that without proper footwear, several feet of snow can result in very cold feet.

All in all, despite the snowy weather, those of us who traveled to Charleston for the West Virginia International Auto Show grew closer and became good friends with our local Clean Cities Coalition. We are looking forward to working together at more events in the future—snow or shine!

Written By: Chelsea Betts