Stranded family of six survives sub-zero temperatures in Nevada's high desert
In December 2013, a couple and 4 children survived two nights of sub-zero temperatures in Nevada's high desert, after their Jeep rolled into a remote mountain ditch.
Rescuers say that a series of good choices enabled the group to survive without frostbite or injuries, despite temperatures which dropped to 21 degrees below zero.
Above all, the group stuck together and stayed by their overturned Jeep, which rescuers were looking for. Paul Burke, Nevada's search-and-rescue coordinator, told Associated Press that sticking together was key to their survival, and not all that common. Rather than strike out in search for help, the family started a fire which they kept burning throughout the ordeal.
CNN reported that rescuers were most impressed by the family's improvisation: they used the fire to heat up rocks, which they placed inside their spare tire to keep the children warm as they huddled inside the car at night. The kids ranged in age from three to ten years old.
The family also set out well-equipped for the weather, with thick winter clothes, plenty of water, and some food. And they had told relatives where they were going. This enabled rescuers to narrow the search area to a still-vast 6,000 square miles, combed over by 200 people.
Though the area had no cellphone reception, Associated Press reported that a cellphone forensics team was able to advise rescuers, by tracking the towers their phones had been in touch with along the way.