By Makenzie Crutcher on April 29, 2022 in Life Hacks
Storms can be spooky, we get it. Between the lightning and torrential rain, you’ll likely want to stay safe and dry inside…a luxury most cars don’t receive. Let’s talk through how to protect your car before, during, and after a storm.
Before the Storm
So, the storm is rolling in. How can you avoid as much damage as possible? Shoutout to ArmorMax for helping us with some tips to weatherproof your ride.
- Park in a covered area.
If you have access to a garage, that would be ideal. However, we understand that’s not always an option. Carports or local parking garages would work just fine for reducing the risk of damage to your vehicle, too.
- Avoid parking under trees, powerlines, or in low-lying areas.
When we said “covered” before, we didn’t mean under trees or powerlines. During storms, trees and powerlines often fall, so it’s best to avoid potential damage from those. If you don’t have access to overhead coverage, use a thick blanket or a car cover to help protect your vehicle. It doesn’t matter if you’re protecting from hail, snow, ice, or bird droppings, there are car covers to keep your ride safe!
Move your car to higher ground and choose a spot next to a sturdy wall to deflect wind.
- If you have time, fill your gas tank.
If you must evacuate, you want to make sure you have enough gas to get away from the disaster. Once the storm gets to a point of evacuation, local gas stations will be packed with people. Being proactive will help you avoid gas shortages or power outages that affect the pumps.
- Keep an emergency kit.
According to Weather.gov, “Thunderstorms are most likely to happen in the spring and summer months and during the afternoon and evening hours.” So, be prepared with a summertime car emergency kit. Here’s the run-down of necessities:
- Rain jackets
- Road map
- Water bottles
- An old blanket
- Spare tire
- Jumper cables
Additional items for everyday vehicle emergencies include:
- Tool kit
- Reflective triangles
- First aid kit
- Rain poncho
- Duct tape
- Car charger
Ding, ding, ding! This one is very important, and we’re not just saying that because we’re an insurance company. Check your policy to see if flood or storm damage is covered, and keep an up-to-date copy of your insurance card in your wallet, glove box, or on your phone.
During the Storm
Okay, now the storm is upon us. What should you do? If you get caught driving in the storm, start by seeking shelter as soon as you can and avoid low-lying areas.
- Turn around, don’t drown.
Avoid easily flooded or already flooded areas. iDriveSafely says, “Six inches of water is enough to hit the bottom of most passenger cars, flooding the exhaust and leaving you immobile.” So, don’t test the limits and stay away from rushing water.
- Stay away from fallen powerlines.
If a powerline falls on your vehicle, stay inside and call for help. It’s best to assume the line is still active with energy, so avoid immediately hopping out to prevent electrocution. Also, tell nearby bystanders to stand back at least 20 feet.
After the Storm
We’ve finally arrived at the calm after the storm…or at least however calm we can be post-storm.
- Be aware of your surroundings.
Keep an eye out for fallen powerlines, trees, and other hazards on the road. The storm could blow random objects onto the road. You definitely don’t want to hit any debris and end up with a flat tire. However, if that happens, remember it’s not the end of the world. If you have Say Insurance, Roadside Assistance is included in every policy!
- Drive with caution.
This is crucial! Don’t be Mr. Speedy Gonzales post storm. The combination of debris in the road, panicked drivers, and potential trouble with traffic signals and signs means it is time to drive slowly. When traffic signals are out, the best rule of thumb is to come to a complete stop at all intersections. Give the same treatment to intersections where stop signs fell, too.
- Inspect your car for any damage.
If there is significant damage (or any damage), take photos in case you need to make an insurance claim. As a refresher, photos for a claim should be taken from at least 10 feet away, include the entire car in the frame, and focus on all 4 corners.
Let’s vow to be proactive during upcoming storms. The more protection you can award your vehicle before the storm, the less damage control you’ll be stuck with after the storm.
If you have any questions about your car insurance policy or storm damage, please reach out to our Say Service Representatives at 1-800-CALL-SAY. They’re always happy to help our drivers understand their policies and relieve stress associated with claims.