Pop-up storms, skies filled with electricity, and LOTS of rain are just a few of the things you can expect when traveling Florida this time of year. Booking hotels with hurricane guarantees, flights with cancellation policies, and travel insurance are some of the ways travelers guarantee fun in the sun. But RV’ers are a different breed of traveler, aren’t we? With hurricanes hitting landfall 1-2 times per year in the U.S. and Florida experiencing 40% of them, preparation is critical. Following these hurricane preparedness tips for RV’ers will prepare you for a hurricane, and other potential dangers. A little time and attention spent here can be the difference between safety and disaster. Review these tips to assure comfort and safety for you and your rig regardless of your location or season.
HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS TIPS for RV’ers:
1. Check the weather.
Before that big rig of yours is stuck on the side of a mountain in a mudslide, it would behoove you to find a good weather app and check it – daily. The beautiful part about owning an RV is in most instances, you can simply pack up and leave if you don’t like what you see on the radar. Which leads me to the second step.
2. Plan an evacuation route.
By becoming familiar with your surroundings, and how to get out of them, you’ll save yourself a lot of grief when the time comes to abort the mission. Use maps, learn the geography of your current ‘home,’ and pay attention to the weather. This will come in handy for all areas where natural disasters occur (which is everywhere). Thankfully we can bring our houses with us.
3. Create an emergency kit.
Be sure to include drinking water, non-perishable foods (granola bars, dried fruit, crackers, beef jerky, canned goods), first-aid supplies, and any necessities you may require such as medications. Create space where items can be stored and accessed with ease such as the basement or cabinet by the door. You will have several days warning to fill additional containers (or the bathtub) with water. Purchasing a water filter an added way to assure this resource. PRO TIP: Put items in packs that can be easily removed and placed in a vehicle.
4. Keep emergency tools updated.
Things like flashlights, batteries, waterproof matches and walky-talkies are all helpful until we need them. Keeping emergency tools up-to-date and handy could be the difference between surviving weeks with no power comfortably or living in dire straits. We recommend checking them twice a year and updating fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors at the same time.
5. Know how to use your generator and grills.
The leading cause of death after a storm is carbon monoxide poisoning. Loss of power leads to back-up sources of fuel and energy. Using generators and grills without proper ventilation can be fatal. Assure these items are working correctly before use and always have a back-up plan in the instance they are damaged.
6. Buy a gas can, and fill it.
It’s essential to have gas. Not only does it support your ability to travel inland, but it will also run your generator. Hurricane aftermath can include the need to cook, create a temperature-stable environment, and run power to your house. *Note: Make sure you know where the transfer switch is for the generator so you can avoid electrical shocks.
7. Leave the rig behind.
In the instance that you receive an evacuation warning and you have access to a vehicle…leave the rig. Chances are you’ll get a lot further. People aren’t going to be in the kind, patient state-of-mind that driving behind an RV requires. Take photos of what you own, put valuables in waterproof containers, tie-down outdoor gear, empty tanks, turn off gas, cover vents/air conditioner, and remove any trees or branches that may turn airborne. By this time you should already know whether you have RV insurance or not, but if that thought has escaped you – now would be the time to inquire. The most sound advice we can give you there is: Ask what it doesn’t cover.
8. Know when to cut your losses.
If all else fails and you’re without preparation, go inland. You may need to dial a friend, visit a distant family member, or take refuge with a stranger, but it’s better than the alternative. Hurricanes can be severe, and as a result, deadly. Better to spend a few hundred dollars taking a mini-adventure then be sorry you didn’t. Chances are there will be other RV’ers out there willing to assist in displacement until the storm passes. Use sources from this article to become familiar with your options.
You may not be able to avoid all the storms in life. But with these hurricane preparedness tips for RV’ers, we have faith you can weather the weather safely. Fisherman’s Cove Resort is an excellent place to be during a storm if you happen to be on the coast. Not only do we have travel spots year-round, but our friendly, helpful community of neighbors and geographic nuances are known to bring calm during a storm. During hurricane Michael, locals at the park say they barely felt a thing. That’s the kind of comfort you can’t beat. Join us for hurricane season, or any time of year, and we’ll look forward to living our lives (and its storms) with you.
We hope to see you soon!