Keeping Your Vehicle Safe During Severe Weather
Severe Weather Damage Prevention
Here are some suggestions for keeping yourself 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 to make arrangements to protect your vehicle, follow these simple tips:
- Be aware of your vehicle's surroundings. If possible move your vehicle away from trees or other objects that may damage it in a storm.
- You can also protect your vehicle from falling objects by moving it into a garage or other covered structure.
- To avoid water damage, it is best to keep your vehicle away from low-lying areas prone to flooding.
- If you may be using your vehicle for evacuation, plan your route carefully, keep a full tank of gas, and have emergency supplies ready.
In just a few minutes hail can do extensive damage to your vehicle, so it's important to be prepared. Here are some tips that may help keep you and your vehicle safe:
- Become familiar with the weather patterns that can produce hail so you can be prepared.
- If there is a forecast for hail, protect your vehicle by moving it under a covered structure.
- To avoid injury, do not go outside once a hail storm begins.
- If you are 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.
Flash floods can occur up to 12 hours after a heavy rain storm. Knowing what to do and how to handle potentially dangerous situations can mean the difference between saving or damaging your vehicle. Read on for information about preparing for and handling heavy rain or flood conditions:
- 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 untold damage.
- Heavy rain can make it difficult 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 Watch: Flooding is possible. Tune in to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information.
- Flash Flood Watch: Flash flooding is possible. Be prepared to move to higher ground; listen to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information.
- 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 on foot immediately.
- Visit Ready.gov to find more tips on what to do before, during and after a flood.