Hurricane season is once again upon us and we've gathered some tips that will help you prepare your vehicle like a pro. Make sure your regular maintenance items are up to date with fresh oil, a strong battery and the correct fluid levels. Check your headlights, flashers, running lights, brake lights and turn signals, and replace them as necessary.
A hurricane means rain and lots of it, so if you've been putting off new wiper blades, this is the time to replace them. A bottle of water repellent for the windshield isn't a bad idea, either. Make sure the tank is full, as a power outage will knock the gas stations off-line.
Keep an emergency go-bag in the trunk with rain gear, phone chargers, connectors, batteries, clothes, jumper cables with a portable jumping system and toiletries. Also, think about investing in a portable generator and approved fuel containers.
Source | Advance Auto Parts
Fill your tank
As anyone who has been in a hurricane knows, the first staples to go extinct are bread, water, and gas. Even if you don't plan to evacuate, it's important to have your gas tank fully loaded in case you need to go anywhere after the dangerous weather moves on. Plus, it doesn't hurt to get gas at a normal price before supply and demand kicks in, making prices skyrocket.
Source | Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels
Just as with your personal documentation (i.e. birth certificates, licenses, health records, etc.), your car documentation is important. Make sure you have all of your vehicle's information in a safe place, including:
- Service records
- Owner's manual(s)
- And more
While you're gathering all of your documentation, it's wise to take pictures of your vehicle in order to provide evidence of damage before and after the storm. If there is damage, now you have official proof to present to insurance companies. This will save you headaches in the end.
Inspect your vehicle
This is probably one of the most important everyday tasks you can do that will also be beneficial before a hurricane. Make sure that your vehicle operates properly by testing as many things as you can think of. All lights, power features, and, especially the battery need to be in working order should you have to evacuate. It's also wise to top off all fluids, such as antifreeze and oil.
There's also a good chance you'll be driving in wet weather, so if you've been putting off replacing your windshield wipers, now is the time.
If you're not sure what all to test, a quick internet search of your state's inspection requirements can give you a good starting point. You can also talk to a local mechanic for some tips.
Move your car to a safe place
Maybe it's the garage. Maybe it's a storage unit. Maybe it's just on a higher piece of land than your driveway. Regardless, it's important to move your car to a safe place for the duration of the storm. When thinking about where to move your car, you need to put some thought into it and prepare for every possible eventuality. For example, if you decide to evacuate or are mandated to, it's not wise to have your vehicle too far away. If you choose to store your car in your garage, be sure to prepare your garage and seal up the door using sandbags or barriers.
Hurricanes are frightening, and they shouldn't be taken lightly. The damage they can cause can be catastrophic, but with the right preparation, you can help prevent or minimize damage to your valuable property.