Hurricanes can be a stressful time in the life of any vehicle owner who is caught in one. They have the potential to cause significant damage to people and property, so it is critical to prepare for disaster before it occurs. The good news is that there are many things you can do to improve your preparedness, which can mean the difference between danger and survival. You can position your car to minimise damage and learn how to get the most out of your insurance policy in addition to ensuring mechanical safety and stocking up on necessary supplies.
Method 1 Maintaining Your Vehicle
1. Verify that the parts of your car that require regular maintenance are in good condition. Parts that appear to be worn down or torn should be replaced. In the event that it has been a while since you last checked your car for maintenance issues, you will want to do so right away.
2. All fluids should be checked and replenished. If you need to evacuate quickly, you must ensure that your vehicle is in safe operating condition. Oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, battery fluid, power steering fluid, radiator coolant fluid, and windshield wiper fluid are all examples of essential fluids.
3. Replace the wipers on your windshield. If you have to drive in a storm, having good visibility is essential. The sun and debris on the windshield can easily damage the wiper blades, which can cause them to fail. To ensure that they can move a large amount of water off the windshield without breaking or slowing down, put them through their paces.
4. Fill your tyres up to the maximum capacity that they can handle. This information can be found on the tyre itself or by consulting the owner’s manual for your vehicle. Keep in mind that the number on the side of the tyre may represent the maximum pressure allowed; therefore, check the inside of the doorjamb for more specific tyre inflation information before using the vehicle. Make sure to check your spare tyre as well, and brush up on your tire-changing skills as well.
5. Inquire with your vehicle insurance company about the hurricane coverage provided by your policy. You will need to find out exactly what is covered, as well as what steps you should take if your vehicle is damaged and you need to file a claim with the insurance company.
6. Make sure to take pictures of the inside and outside of your car before the storm hits. You may require these in the future to demonstrate that the hurricane was responsible for any damage you claim. You may also want to consider getting a full mechanical diagnostic performed before the hurricane for insurance purposes and to ensure that your vehicle is in good working order.
You should begin the insurance claim process as soon as you are safe and able after your vehicle has been damaged.
Method 2 Stocking Your Car for Evacuation
1. Fill your gas tank and any reserve canisters to the top of their respective tanks or canisters. Due to the possibility that hurricanes will disrupt incoming supplies and cause power outages, it is best to fill up well before the storm arrives in order to avoid long lines at the station, supply shortages, and technical difficulties at the pump.
2. Remove any external accessories that aren’t absolutely necessary. If you place extra antennae, a bike rack, or any other temporary items on the outside of your car, they can quickly become deadly projectiles in the event of high-speed winds and cause serious injury or death. Make sure they are stored in a safe location where the wind will not pick them up, such as a basement, crawlspace, or heavy-duty outdoor shed.
3. Preparing an emergency kit for your vehicle is a good idea. It is preferable to store these items in a container that is both sturdy and waterproof. Avoid using locking canisters because you may need to access these items quickly and you may lose or forget the key or code to access these items. Instead, choose a container with a quick-release latch or zipper to keep your belongings safe.
An automotive toolkit, a pocket knife, extra fuses, road flares, emergency tyre sealant, extra quarts of motor oil, power steering fluid, and antifreeze, sandpaper, electrical and duct tape, a tyre jack, jumper cables, a flashlight, extra batteries, a battery-powered radio, pen and paper, a blanket, a can opener, a first aid kit, and additional supplies of water and food are all recommended…..
4. Preparing a go-bag with personal essentials is a good idea. Make sure to pack a few changes of clothes, extra shoes and socks, basic toiletries, an extra pair of glasses if you wear them, a car charger for your phone, and some cash. Although any bag will suffice, a suitcase or duffel bag that is strong, easy to transport, and secure is recommended. Keep this with you at all times because you may not be able to return home to get basic necessities if you need them.
Ensure that you have a resealable plastic baggie in your go-bag to store important documents such as your car title, insurance paperwork, registration information, and a copy of your identification.
Method 3 Parking Safely
1. If you must remain in your vehicle, park on high ground, against buildings, and away from falling debris if possible. If you are parking near any tall or unsecured structures, such as power lines, light poles, stop lights, road signs, or trees, be careful because they may fall and cause costly injury or death. If your vehicle has an emergency brake, engage it.
2. If at all possible, keep your vehicle in your garage. In the event that you choose to park in your garage, reinforce the garage doors and windows with 12- to 34-inch-thick plywood and sandbags. Organize your belongings by taking them off shelves and into attics and putting them on the ground.
You might want to consider parking your car outside, parallel to the garage door, to help break up the wind and (hopefully) keep the garage door’s integrity intact.
3. Increase the strength of your vehicle’s windows. Masking tape in a crisscross pattern should be used to completely cover each window. If your windows do break, it may not prevent them from breaking, but it will make clean-up easier in the event that they do, and it will protect you from being hit by shattered glass if you are in the car when it happens. Check to see that the windows and sunroof are properly sealed.
4. Protect your automobile. When exposed to salt water, electrical wiring becomes prone to corrosion, which can result in the failure of your transmission, engine, or drivetrain system as a result. Water and flying debris can cause damage to your vehicle, so make sure you cover it with a thick, padded tarp.
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