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Butte County, Calif., authorities are puzzled by how a 68-year-old woman was able to survive in icy-cold conditions after being reported missing for nearly a week.

Paula Beth James was found in the back seat of her snow-covered silver Toyota 4Runner wearing jeans and a jacket Wednesday at noon, according to statements from the Butte County Sheriff’s Office and Butte County Sheriff Kory L. Honea.


The severely dehydrated and frostbitten James was taken to a hospital for treatment, according to the sheriff’s statement. She was reported to be in stable condition.

Although she has dementia, she was smart--stayed in her car, drank up her waster bottle, and used the floor mats to cover herself. (I'm guessing the dementia hasn't progressed much yet if she's still driving.) A few more items would've made her more comfortable and safer...a thick blanket or quilt and a mylar sheet, thick socks & boots, a fleecy balaclava hat, at least a gallon of water, tp, emergency rations, signaling devices. Small shovel and sand/kitty litter in case of getting stuck in the snow, charging cables, antifreeze. Make sure your car and its battery are in good shape. I used to carry more emergency stuff when I lived in earthquake country (and I carry some during hurricane season, mostly a pallet of waster bottles--and keep my car in good running order for quick getaways). I add supplies when I'm driving in rural areas outside my county.
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