Vehicle Safety During Severe Weather
Severe Weather Damage Prevention
Severe weather can happen at any time. The best way to prepare is by planning ahead. We've gathered some tips to help keep you and your vehicle safe when severe weather threatens.
First take the appropriate precautions to make sure you and your family are safe. If you still have time, you can take steps to protect your vehicle.
How to protect your vehicle from a hurricane:
- Be aware of your vehicle's surroundings. If possible, move your vehicle away from trees or other objects that may fall and damage it in a storm.
- Parking your vehicle in a garage or other covered structure can help protect it from falling objects.
- Keep your vehicle away from low-lying areas prone to flooding, to help avoid water damage.
- If you need to use your vehicle to evacuate, plan your route carefully, keep a full tank of gas, and have emergency supplies ready.
- Secure any important documents for your vehicle like the title and registration. This can help speed up your claim experience, if your vehicle is damaged from the storm.
It only takes a few minutes for hail to cause a lot of damage to your vehicle. That's why it's important to be prepared.
How to protect your vehicle from hail:
- Learn the weather patterns that can cause hail so you can be prepared.
- If there's a forecast for hail, protect your vehicle by moving it under a covered structure.
- To avoid injury, do not go outside if it's hailing.
- If you're driving when it begins to hail and there is a covered structure nearby, safely move your vehicle to it. If you cannot find a covered structure, pull your car to side of the road and wait for the storm to end.
- If the hail resulted in a broken window, protect your vehicle from further damage by covering the window with plastic or other material.
Flood and Heavy Rain
Flash floods can occur up to 12 hours after a heavy rainstorm. Knowing what to do and how to handle potentially dangerous situations can help protect you and your vehicle.
How to protect your vehicle from flooding and heavy rain:
- If you see a large puddle or standing water, go around it or choose a different route. It could be hiding a deep hole and even a few inches of water can splash into your engine causing damage.
- Heavy rain can make it hard for other drivers to see you. Keep your headlights on and drive slowly, keeping your eyes out for on-coming traffic.
- If you live in an area that is prone to flooding, make sure you have plenty of fuel and know the local evacuation routes.
- Give yourself plenty of time to brake and do so gently in order to avoid hydroplaning.
- Familiarize yourself with terms used to describe weather patterns and warnings.
Flood warning definitions:
- Flood Watch: Flooding is possible.
- Flash Flood Watch: Flash flooding is possible and you should be prepared to move to higher ground.
- Flood Warning: Flooding is occurring or will occur soon; if advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
- Flash Flood Warning: A flash flood is occurring; seek higher ground immediately.
For up to date info, you can tune in to NOAA Weather Radio, local radio, or television. Visit Ready.gov to find more tips on what to do before, during, and after a flood.
If Your Vehicle Is Damaged During a Storm
When you click on the "ready.gov" link, you will be taken to a site owned by Ready.gov, not GEICO.