How to Protect a Car During a Hurricaneby Patti Wigington
Depending on where you live, you may at some point find out there is a hurricane headed your way. Although many people know to board up their house, stock up on canned foods, and batten down backyard objects, what most people don't realize is that you'll need to protect your car as well. However, thanks to getting plenty of advance notice, you'll typically have a few days warning when a hurricane is coming. This way, you can take some time to plan how you'll protect your car from Mother Nature. Read on to learn how to protect a car during a hurricane.
Decide whether or not you're going to evacuate. In some cases, you may be required to by local officials, but often it's left to your own discretion. If you decide to stay, the best thing you can do is move your car further inland, and to higher ground. Remember that on the coast, storm surges can bring tides in a lot farther than normal. Not only that, at some times of year coastal areas also experience lunar tides, in which flood waters can move in a long way past the normal high tide mark. Find a place out of reach of floodwaters to store your car for the storm.
Keep your car covered. Although the most obvious damage to a car from a hurricane is on the outside, the inner mechanisms can also be effected. Your electrical wiring can be corroded quickly by salt water damage, and if water gets into your engine, you may find yourself with a huge mess on your hands. During a hurricane, high winds can fling all sorts of debris around--at a hundred miles an hour--so cover the car. Better yet, put it in a garage. If that's not an option, make sure the car is away from anything that might fall on it during a storm--telephone poles, tree limbs, signs, among other objects.
Tape your car windows. Use masking tape and make a crisscross pattern across each window. Some people believe this can keep windows from shattering. Whether that is true or not, it does make cleaning up a lot simpler if the window does break--all the glass is held together with tape.
Remove exterior items that aren't permanent. If you have extra antennas, magnetic signs or any other car accessory that is only mounted temporarily, remove them. Hurricane force winds can rip them from the car, and turn them into deadly projectiles.
Keep gas in your car. This way, when the hurricane is over, if you have to leave you'll be able to do so safely. In the aftermath of a hurricane, you may have trouble buying gas due to power outages, so keeping a full tank will prevent you from getting stranded in a disaster zone.
When the storm has passed, check the car to see if there is any damage. Take photos in case you have to file an insurance claim, and consider having a mechanic look over the vehicle just to make sure all the internal components still work properly.
- check Have a family disaster plan, and keep it simple, so that all family members are able to remember what to do in the event of an emergency. Planning ahead could save your life in a hurricane.
- check Keep some emergency supplies in your car in a waterproof container.
- close Don't try to ride out a hurricane inside your car. A car can be carried away by rising waters of only 2 feet, and there’s also a risk of injuries caused by broken glass if the windows shatter.
- close Be sure to stay out of flooded areas and away from downed lines when you’re driving around after the storm.