I thought it might be useful to post a few things for people that aren't so experienced with winter and getting cars unstuck. Here's a few simple pointers.
1. Buy a tow strap. It can save you or somebody else. A 20 foot 7-8k pound strap should be adequate.
2. Buy a come-along. Harbor Freight often has their 2-3 ton model on sale for $20. With this and a tow strap (ideally 2 straps, also available for $15 each at Harbor Freight) you can get your car out of a lot of situations.
3. Carry a shovel. A small one is fine, even just a trowel or similar. Anything to dig with that has a sharp edge (i.e. NOT a plastic shovel).
4. Throw a blanket and a few bottles of water in your trunk in case you get stuck somewhere.
5. Put a couple of coffee cans or small bucket of gravel in your trunk. Sand won't help you when you're off in deep snow, but gravel will. This should be sharp-edged gravel and not round river rock type gravel (which won't offer traction!).
6. Your floor mats can be your best friend and are the best way to get unstuck. Put one in front of or behind each wheel and you'll be amazed how easily you can get your car out of just about any situation. Depending on what kind you have, the bottom may be better to have face up than the top, for instance with carpeted mats the bottom often has more traction for the tires. Dig as far under each wheel as you can so the edges of the floor mats are just about under the tire to start.
These are just a few of the things I've learned in 20 years of driving in some of the snowiest places imaginable.