Hurricane Prep for Your Vehicles

25 Aug

While preparing for a hurricane, many people forget to make appropriate plans for their automobiles. Below, we’ve listed some suggestions to protect your vehicles from Irene:

Shopping and Organizing

As part of your hurricane shopping, be sure to stop by the gas station and fill your tank all the way. Power outages will knock gas pumps out of commission, and you may not be able to refuel for quite a while.

Also, put all of your car’s important paperwork somewhere safe. (Note: Not the glove box).

Parking

The safest place for your car is obviously the garage, but you may need to reinforce your garage door with a few 2×4’s to protect is against high winds. If you don’t have a garage, park your car as close to the house as possible. That way, at least one side of the car is protected from flying debris.

If you have more than one car in your household, you may want to park one vehicle in a public parking garage. These buildings are usually very weather resistant. Park on one of the higher levels to avoid flooding. You may be stuck without your vehicle for a few days if flooding is serious in your area, so plan appropriately.

If you need to park on a hill, face the front of the car upwards, and turn your wheels towards the curb. This will help it stay in place.

Driving

If you need to move to a safer location during the storm, know which car you’re going to take. Four wheel drive vehicles aren’t necessarily the best bet during a flood. The most important factor is ground clearance.

It’s also important to know how high your car’s air intake is. You will undoubtedly come across “large puddles” in the middle of roads that you have to decide whether or not to cross. Cars will run through a foot or two of water (though we still don’t recommend it), but once water gets sucked into the motor via the intake, the motor will stop. Never under estimate a puddle.

Lastly, always use extreme caution near downed wires and powerlines. For your own safety, treat them as though they are live and deadly.

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