The best way to face a storm or hurricane is with preparation and a plan. It’s important to consider how to protect your family and home, where you would go if your home became unsafe, what food to store, and what emergency equipment you might need. If you are preparing for a storm or hurricane, you have a lot on your mind. Let us help you out by ensuring that you don’t forget on topic that’s important: cars and storms.
Your car is easy to take for granted but it could be the difference between danger and safety in a time of emergency. Let’s discuss some ways to protect your car from storms and hurricanes and why these should be included in any emergency plan you have.
Cars and Storms: 4 Tips for Protecting Your Vehicle
Cover Your Car
Keep your car covered during a storm or hurricane. Ideally you can keep it in your home’s garage or carport. Not everyone has that option but there are other things you can do. If you live in an area that has frequent storms or hurricanes, consider investing in covered parking, whether that means building a carport onto your home, or paying for a covered parking garage. It may be worth the investment. Keep in mind, in an emergency you will most likely want your car nearby. Don’t invest in a parking garage that is all the way across town.
If none of these options work for you or you didn’t have the time to prepare before a storm hits, there are still some simple, last-minute options. Try to park your car by a building to protect it from strong winds and storm debris. Cover your car with a car cover or, if necessary, blankets and tarps. These small steps can make a big difference.
Avoid Flooded Areas
During and after a storm you should avoid low areas that might be flooded. Even if you are familiar with these areas and have driven through them in the past, a car can begin to float in only two feet of water. Avoid underpasses, washes, ditches, and even roads in lower areas of town. If your car gets stuck in a flooded area not only is it unusable as transportation, but it is life-threatening. Your well-being, and the well-being of your family is more important than anything else. A storm or hurricane is not the time to test your car’s capabilities.
In fact, get your car to higher ground if it’s possible to move it safely. If your car is parked in an area with flood potential, it will be no good to you if you need to evacuate or drive to medical facilities. If there is a hill or higher road near your house, you should park it there. Make sure the location you choose is easily accessible from your home. A car in good condition won’t do you any good if it’s parked too far away.
Keep Your Tank Full
If possible, keep your gas tank at least half full at all times. This will help you out in many different situations. Not everyone can do this, and that’s understandable. The Red Cross does recommend filling your gas tank up when you receive a storm or hurricane warning in case you need to evacuate. Having a full tank will make it much easier to drive anywhere after a storm or hurricane. People who don’t fill up beforehand could have a difficult time finding an open fuel station or one without a long line of cars.
Take Care of your Car
The most important thing you can do to protect your car from storms or hurricanes is to get regular car check-ups. Make sure that your car is reliable and in good condition in case you need it to get to safety during or after the storm. However, do not drive your car during a storm or hurricane unless it is necessary.
Take care of your car so that it can take care of you. Make preparations beforehand so that you aren’t scrambling when the storm hits. This means keeping your registration and insurance up to date, knowing routes to the hospital, getting car check-ups consistently, and changing the oil regularly. It is a worthwhile investment.
Don’t wait for the storm or hurricane to hit. Northwest Auto Center can help you prepare. They offer free seminars about protecting your car and auto repair services to keep you safe on the road in rain or shine. Make an appointment today to ensure that your car is ready for that storm.
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