Preparing Yourself and Your Car for Hurricane

Tropical Storm Katia (NASA, International Space Station, 08/31/11)
NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center / Foter / CC BY-NC

Preparing Yourself and Your Car for Hurricane

With Hurricane Sandy, aka Frankenstorm, bearing down upon the entire Eastern seaboard and many states getting slammed by heavy rain and wind, I am sure lots of people are wondering what they could have done to prepare for a hurricane better.  An important consideration is that your vehicle can be damaged easily during hurricanes, it's important to try to do all you can to protect this valuable asset.

I recommend parking your car as close to your house as possible and in the driveway.  The reason is if a lot of home insurance policies will cover damage to a vehicle from trees or debris if it close to a house.  This varies on what type of policy you have though.  If you have a garage, carport, or some other structure you can park your can that would be the most ideal place to park it.  That is certainly not guarantee but is a safe bet.

Obviously though your car is not the only consideration for preparing for a hurricane during hurricane season.  Here are some tips to get hurricane ready;

  1. Food: Make sure to have enough food for your whole family. This includes any pets you might have in your family.  We have dry dog food and canned dog food that will last our dogs, Cody and Sierra, awhile.
  2. Water: You also need to have clean drinking water too.  It is recommend to have 1 gallon of clean water per day.  If you are not sure if you have enough, at least have a teapot and heat source so that you can boil and sanitize drinking water if necessary.
  3. First Aid:  It’s always good to have a First Aid Kit in case of an emergency.  You never know when you might need it.  I recommend having hydrogen peroxide (for disinfecting wounds), bandages and gauze, cloth tape, needles, gloves, ointment, and a blanket.  It is also a good idea to have a first aid booklet handy as well.
  4. Medications: Make sure to get any medications for your family filled before you need to hunker down at your house or go to a shelter.
  5. Emergency Contacts: Keep an emergency contact list.  This includes, relatives, doctors, veterinarians,(if you have pets), or friends.  Make sure to know about the nearest nearest shelter if you need to evacute your area due to flooding.  If you have pets, be sure to find a pet-friendly shelter.
  6. Rain Gear, Towels, & Clothes: Try not to go outside if you can help it, but it's always good to have a poncho and rain gear in case you do.  It's a good idea to have as much clean clothes as you can too.
  7. Cash: Cash, and I mean the real green stuff, is good to have in case power is going to be out for awhile.
  8. Flashlights, Batteries, and Candles:  It’s good to have flashlights and batteries if you are going to be without power for a long time.   I would also recommend having short stubby candles since they are less likely to tip over and cause a fire.  Matches are a good idea to have too!
  9. Full Tank of Gas:  If gas stations don’t have power, they can’t sell gas.  It’s a good idea to fill up your car’s gas tank if you need to go somewhere with your family.

You should also consider having a spare flashlight with batteries, blanket, and first aid kit in your car if you need to venture out.  It's best to not drive during a hurricane, and you have been told not to, you shouldn't.

I hope these tips will help you prepare for Hurricane Sandy, Frankenstorm, or any other hurricane in the future.  If you have any recommendations, tips, or advice about hurricane preparedness you would like to add, please leave a comment below.

Watch it in Wet Weather!

I am sure everyone in the Baltimore area and Maryland experienced the rather quick switch in weather from sunshine, to heavy rain, some sunshine, light rain, sunshine, heavy rain!  It was a little bit ridiculous.  It's a good reminder to be prepared for anything when driving and to stay alert.  You need to be constantly aware of the driving conditions you are dealing with, espicially in wet weather.

A few weeks ago when I was headed to the Baltimore Grand Prix Economic Press Conference, it was raining like nobody's business!  Not far from my house these was this accident.  It was pretty serious as you can see from the pictures.  These two small SUVS did a lot of damage hitting each other, at what I assumed was relatively low speeds.  This was most likely due to the fact that one of the drivers did not adjust their driving for wet conditions.  Since they were relatively the same size and type of vehicle, it seemed nobody was seriously injued. (Actually both were Honda CRVs).  Consider if one of the vehicles was a truck hitting a compact car.  Not good!