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How to Ready Your Vehicle for a Hurricane

1.

Check your insurance coverage before hurricane season starts. (Officially, June 1 to Nov. 30 for the North Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean. Most big storms happen in August and September.)

2.

Take care of mechanical repairs - an evacuation is no time to rely on frayed belts or an iffy transmission. Be sure emergency items, such as a spare tire, jumper cables, first-aid kit, etc., are in working order.

3.

Keep a close eye on weather reports as a hurricane approaches.

4.

If you're in the storm's path, decide as early as possible whether you need to leave. The later you hit the highway, the more traffic gridlock you'll face. Listen to experts' advice or, in some areas, officials' orders.

5.

Go with a full tank of gas if you evacuate - you can't predict availability down the road.

6.

Find as safe a place as possible for any car you leave behind, if you have a choice. An ideal spot provides some protection from rising and surging water, as well as from wind and blowing debris.

7.

Keep gas tanks filled during hurricane season. You won't be driving anywhere during an actual hurricane, of course, but you'll want to avoid lines at the gas station later. Gasoline may not be available at all for several days after a particularly disruptive storm.

Tips and Warnings

  • It's impossible to predict how much damage a hurricane will do to your home or anywhere else. Listen to the experts at the National Hurricane Center and to the newscasters who relay the experts' reports. They have the best idea of what to expect in your area.
  • Keep some extra gas cans filled and safely stored during hurricane season.
  • Remember: Even a small hurricane has winds of 74 miles per hour and can spin off tornadoes. Some sturdy-looking structures will be flimsy in a big storm.

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