How To Protect Your Car While Keeping Yourself Safe During Hurricane Season

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A very large broken tree fell on a car during a hurricane. Destruction after a gale. Accident. Close-up. Summer.

The Atlantic hurricane season is here to stay until November 30th. Keeping your car safe during inclement weather can be tricky, but we are here to save the day with some tips, tricks and best practices for hurricane season. Agencies like the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the American Red Cross both agree that having a plan in place is the best way to prepare for hurricane season. A hurricane is not something you want to catch you off guard!

Before The Storm

Check your car’s insurance policy and coverages. Check in with your agent to see if there is anything they suggest you do before a storm hits to make your claim as smooth and speedy as possible.

Take pictures of your car BEFORE the storm. Make sure that you get photos of the exterior and interior from every angle. Doing this will establish a baseline for your insurance company to reimburse or replace parts of your car that were damaged during the storm. Store them online or in a waterproof box for safekeeping.

Make sure to remove any valuables that you have in your car. If you can remove your radio or have any extra speakers, move them inside somewhere high and safe.

Make copies of important paperwork like vehicle registration, owner’s manuals, service records and insurance. Keep one copy in the vehicle in a dry bag, and another copy somewhere safe with you in a dry bag or a waterproof box. Make sure that everything is up to date. Make copies of your keys and distribute to your emergency contacts in case you are separated from your vehicle after the storm.

Obviously, a garage is the safest spot for your car during inclement weather. Make sure everything in the garage that could fall is put up safely and secured. Unfortunately, not all of us have access to a garage. What can you do if you do not have one? Make sure to park your car close to a building so it can act as a barrier from high winds. If you can find a high up car lot or a hill in your neighborhood, park there to avoid flooding. Avoid parking near any trees or power lines, in case either get knocked down, and double check your exit path for possibilities of downed trees preventing you from leaving. Check in with your local government or news as some businesses open their lots during storms for parking. Always remember to park with your vehicle facing the exit so you can evacuate quickly if needed.

Make sure your windows are all the way up and the vehicle is locked. You can use tape as an extra barrier to waterproof your windows. Make sure to use auto safe tape so you don’t ruin your car’s paint or the glass of the windows. You may also cover the car with a tarp or trash bags to avoid debris. Again, make sure you use appropriate tape when attaching the tarp to your vehicle.

Make sure that you have a full tank of gas before the storm. If the hurricane is worse than expected, you may need to evacuate. In some cases, the gas stations local to you may be out of gas, be inoperable or simply be too busy for you to get a full tank of gas to make a quick getaway somewhere safe. Plus, it’s always good to get gas at a normal price before supply and demand skyrockets.

Check that all of your vehicle’s systems are working properly. Check tire pressure and add air if needed. Make sure all fluids (wiper fluid, coolant, brake fluid, battery fluid, and transmission oil) have been topped off. If it’s close to time for an oil change, get one now, rather than later. Check to ensure that you have working wipers. Make sure the car battery is charged. Have your brakes checked to make sure everything is functioning properly. If you need to make a quick evacuation, you do not want any surprises. Check out our previous blog for some DIY car maintenance tips.

Get a phone charger that can be plugged into a vehicle or solar powered and put it somewhere dry and safe. If you lose power, you can always charge your phone there to stay connected.

Be prepared for a quick exit. Plan your exit route before you need it. Have a radio handy to know of road closures on your evacuation route.

Have a go bag ready, stocked with items you may need. You may be in your car for a day or more. Stock it with a flashlight, extra batteries, water, food/snacks, a first-aid kit, cash and credit cards, any medications you may need, and a change of clothes. Invest in a car emergency kit with jumper cables, a gasoline canister, a tire jack, and a tool kit. You can also make your own using tips from the National Safety Council.

After The Storm

Take after pictures of the exterior and interior of your vehicle for insurance purposes. Check everything thoroughly. Here are a few tips on what to look for in your auto glass.

Do not try to remove any debris like large trees or power lines yourself.

Driving After A Hurricane

Drive only when necessary. If necessary, drive carefully and slowly.

Avoid flooded areas. Flood waters can rise astonishingly fast and your vehicle can be disabled quickly by it. Even just a foot of water can disable your vehicle and trap you in flood waters. If any water enters your engine, your car will be rendered inoperable. Don’t underestimate Mother Nature and take the risk. Do NOT drive in standing water.

If you and your vehicle are trapped in flood waters, get out and get to higher ground. If you can’t get out of your car, try to drive it out of the water. Once you are out, depress your brakes slowly several times to dry them out. If you cannot get out, call 911 immediately.

Watch for fallen objects, like power lines or trees, and weakened roads or bridges. Again, do not try to remove them yourself.

Follow instructions from authorities at all times. They’re there to help you.

Remember, you are the most important asset. Losing a vehicle is horrible, but losing your family would be worse. Always take all precautions to keep you and your family safe before anything else.

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    Got windshield cracks? Unsure of insurance coverage? Get free answers today!

      Enter your full name

      What is your glass issue?

      Enter a valid email

      Where can we reach you?

      Any additional information we should know about.