Aug 26, 2011
With Hurricane Irene threatening the East Coast this weekend, it is important to make sure your vehicles are safe if you are in the path of this or any future storm. These tips, courtesy of eHow.com, will help you to minimize potential damage to your vehicles and save you money on repairs once the storm has passed.
1. Decide whether or not you're going to evacuate.
If you decide to stay, the best thing you can do is move your car further inland, and to higher ground. Remember that on the coast, storm surges can bring tides in a lot farther than normal. Not only that, at some times of year coastal areas also experience lunar tides, in which flood waters can move in a long way past the normal high tide mark. Find a place out of reach of floodwaters to store your car for the storm.
2. Keep your car covered.
Your electrical wiring can be corroded quickly by saltwater damage, and if water gets into your engine, you may find yourself with a huge mess on your hands. During a hurricane, high winds can fling all sorts of debris around--at a hundred miles an hour--so cover the car. Better yet, put it in a garage. If that's not an option, make sure the car is away from anything that might fall on it during a storm: telephone poles, tree limbs, signs, etc.
3. Tape your car windows.
Use masking tape and make a crisscross pattern across each window. Some people believe this can keep windows from shattering. Whether that is true or not, it does make cleaning up a lot simpler if the window does break; all the glass is held together with tape.
4. Remove exterior items that aren't permanent.
If you have extra antennae, magnetic signs or any other car accessory that is only mounted temporarily, remove them. Hurricane force winds can rip them from the car and turn them into deadly projectiles.
5. Keep gas in your car.
When the hurricane is over, if you have to leave you'll be able to do so safely. In the aftermath of a hurricane, you may have trouble buying gas due to power outages, so keeping a full tank will help to prevent you from getting stranded in a disaster zone.
6. When the storm has passed, check the car to see if there is any damage.
Take photos in case you have to file an insurance claim, and consider having a mechanic look over the vehicle just to make sure all the internal components still work properly.