How to Ready Your Vehicle for a Hurricane

Hurricanes can make for a stressful time in any vehicle owner's life. Although the best method will always be to evacuate, you may decide to stay at home. When readying your vehicle for a hurricane, the following steps will help minimize any potential damage.


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    Consult your vehicle insurance agency about your policy's hurricane coverage, if applicable. You will need to inquire about what is covered, as well as what steps to take in the event that your vehicle is damaged and you need to make a claim.
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    Check and replenish all fluids. Check your drive belts for tension and wear, and have them replaced if necessary. Also ensure your tires are properly inflated (this includes your spare tire).
    • The following fluids typically should be checked: oil, transmission, brake, battery, power steering, radiator coolant, and windshield wiper fluids.
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    Fill your gas tank and any reserve canisters to their full capacity.
    • Hurricanes can affect incoming supply routes, making gasoline a very important item. To avoid long lines at the gas station and frustration, you should make sure that you have enough fuel for your vehicle.
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    Put together an emergency kit for your vehicle.
    • "Must-have" items include the following: an automotive toolkit, a pocket knife, extra fuses, road flares, emergency tire sealant, extra quarts of motor oil, power steering fluid and antifreeze, a tire jack, jumper cables, a flashlight, extra batteries, a battery-powered radio, pen and paper, a blanket, a can opener, a first aid kit, and extra reserves of water and food.
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    Keep you vehicle in a sheltered location if possible.
    • Be sure to keep your vehicle parked on higher ground, away from any tall or loose structures (such as light poles, stop lights, road signs, or trees) that may fall and cause costly damage. Also remember to apply your emergency brake, if applicable.
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    Apply masking tape to your car windows in order to make cleanup easier in the event that your windows break.


  • Park your vehicle as close to your home (or building) as possible to minimize damage.
  • Keep yourself up to date with reports from your local news stations and the National Hurricane Center to verify safe vehicle operating conditions.
  • If you do not have a garage or any other form of reliable cover, damage to your vehicle from debris and flooding may occur.
  • Keeping an extra supply of water in your vehicle can be a lifesaver. Not only can this water be used for vehicle maintenance, but it can also be used for drinking. The basic requirement for water during an emergency are 3 gallons (11.4 L) per person, per day.


  • Never leave your vehicle parked under trees or power lines.
  • Never mishandle gasoline. Avoid spills, contact with your skin, or inhaling gasoline. Be sure to store gasoline in a cool, ventilated area away from flame and exposure to the elements (such as in an outdoor shed). Do not store gasoline inside your home or garage.
  • You should never drive during a hurricane unless it is an emergency.

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Categories: Cars & Other Vehicles | Storms