Easy Ways to Get Get Your Car Hurricane-Ready
Floridians are all too familiar with bracing themselves and their homes for tropical storms and hurricanes from June to November each year. While it can be overwhelming to remember all the preparations needed to get ready, your car doesn’t have to be part of that stress. In addition to keeping your car’s regular repair schedule, follow these easy tips so that when you’re battening down the hatches at home, your vehicle is protected as much as possible.
1. Document Everything
Before a storm or hurricane heads your way, verify your automobile insurance policy coverage and ask your insurance agent what documentation they will require to file a claim post-storm. Then, get your car’s paperwork together, including insurance card, registration, owner manual, service records, and photos. Store these in a safe, watertight place, such as a Ziploc bag.
2. Check It Out
Make sure your car is in working order before a storm hits. Have our trusted City Auto Repair mechanics check your:
- Antifreeze levels
- Battery power
- Exhaust and filters
- Hoses and belts
- Lights and hazards
- Oil level
- Tires (including the spare)
- Wiper fluid and equipment
3. Stay Informed
During hurricane season here in Florida and year-round, stay current on the local news and meteorologist projections for storms in your area. There are also many apps that you can download that will alert you to any impending nasty weather.
4. Gas It Up and Plan for Emergencies
In addition to checking your car’s battery and keeping it fully charged, also keep a full tank of gas in your vehicle during the storm season so that if your area is ordered to evacuate, you can bypass the long gas station lines. In addition to fuelling up, make sure your car’s emergency kit is well-stocked with the following:
- Car escape tool
- Car fire extinguisher
- Cell phone charger
- First aid kit
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Flat tire inflation canister
- Gas can
- Jumper cables
- Multipurpose tool
- Oil quarts
- Rain poncho
- Reflective vest
- Roadside flares
- Spare car fuses
- Spare tire and jack
- Washer fluid
5. Move It Or Lose It
Once you have your car gassed up and stocked with the proper emergency essentials, it’s time to remove any extra adornments from your car’s exterior. These include magnets, antennas that aren’t affixed, or anything else that high winds can blow off and turn into dangerous projectiles.
Ideally, you can park your car in a garage or other enclosed space for the storm’s duration. If you do, remove any items from garage shelves that could fall on your vehicle if your garage floods. Also, brace the garage door if possible.
If your car must remain outside during the hurricane, ensure all windows and sunroofs are closed completely. You can then reinforce the windows with masking tape in a criss-cross pattern or using a car cover. Then, park it at the highest ground possible or close to a building, which will help block some of the wind. Avoid parking under trees, power lines, or anything else that could fall onto your car.
6. After the Storm
After the storm has passed, check your car’s exterior, interior, and engine carefully for damage. Take any pictures necessary for filing claims with your insurance. Then, only operate your vehicle if it’s necessary, and drive as slowly and carefully as you possibly can. Be careful to watch for downed lines, live wires, debris in the roads, and flooding. Never drive through standing water that may be deeper than it looks or hiding hazardous objects.
City Auto Repair is Here to Help
Contact us to have our expert City Auto Repair mechanics do a checkup or maintenance service on your car and answer any of your hurricane preparedness questions you may have. If you follow these simple steps, your vehicle will be prepared for whatever storms or hurricanes come your way.