Living in Florida comes with an annual hurricane season. While we haven’t seen any major storms in South Florida since Hurricane Irma in 2017, when they do make landfall, they can cause substantial damage to impacted areas. It should come as no surprise that cars are vulnerable to hurricane damage. Not only are they more easily moved, but that shiny exterior is no match for wind and water damage. Here we go over tips from a mechanic to prepare your vehicle for the unpredictability of hurricane season in the Sunshine State.
Follow Routine Car Maintenance
We can easily forget about our cars when it comes to hurricane prep. Ongoing vehicle maintenance ensures the longevity of your car. It also keeps your car in top working condition for when you need it most.
Here are some important areas that you should keep track of:
Check Your Tires
Your car’s tires play a big role in getting your car moving on the road. In the case of an emergency, it’s important to make sure that your tires are correctly inflated. If they’re on the low-pressure side, it may prevent you from escaping in the event of an emergency. Checking the amount of tread is also important for grip on the road.
Fill Up with Fuel
Hurricanes can cripple gas stations and affect fuel supply. The result is that you may end up waiting in long queues to fill up. It’s best to fill up your car with gas before the storm hits. This way you know you’ll have enough gas to keep going in the case of an emergency.
Check Your Battery
The last thing you need is a dead battery in the middle of a storm. Pay close attention to any dash warning lights that may come up. It’s best to get your battery tested by a professional before the next hurricane hits. This way you know your battery will be reliable when it counts.
Test Your Windshield Wipers
In storms, visibility is everything. Deteriorating wipers will limit your visibility in a storm. Make sure you maintain and replace your wipers if they’re showing signs of wear and tear. Every wipe should completely clear your windshield. If your wipers aren’t up to this standard, get them replaced.
Scheduled vehicle maintenance is the biggest key to keeping your car safe in a hurricane. Be sure to consult a reputable service facility for a routine maintenance plan. They will be able to perform all the preparation needed on your car before the storm hits.
Assemble An Emergency Kit
If you don’t have an emergency kit stored somewhere in your car, now is the time. Severe weather will always increase the likelihood of traffic hazards and road closures.
Here’s a list of what you should have in your emergency kit:
- First aid kit
- Jumper cables
- Tire jack
- Tool kit
All in one emergency kits are readily available from a number of outlets. Speak to your trusted mechanic to get stocked up on an emergency kit.
Keep Your Insurance Up to Date
Hurricanes always lead to insurance claims. It’s for this reason that you should go over your insurance. This way you’ll know that you are covered in the case of storm damage.
Check that you have enough coverage in place for severe events. These types of claims are usually known as ‘Acts of God’. This should include event coverage for hurricanes and bad storms. Next, make sure you have adequate collision damage. Although it’s horrible to think about, wet and windy roads lead to more traffic accidents. You should also be covered in the event of losing control of your car and veering off the road.
At the end of the day, make sure you’re meeting your state’s minimum car insurance requirements. It’s best to consult your insurance company to check the terms and conditions of your policy. This way you won’t be in for any nasty surprises. Finally, make sure you know how the claims process works in the event of a claim.
Park In a Safe Area
This may go without saying but be sure to park in your garage if you have one. It’s best to back your vehicle into your garage as this makes for a faster getaway in the event of an emergency. You don’t want to have to battle with reversing in limited visibility. If you don’t have a garage, park far away from trees, light poles, and power lines. All these elements can be blown over in a storm. And trust us when we say, you don’t want them to blow onto your car.
A Mechanic You Can Trust
At Foreign Affairs Motorwerks, we have South Florida covered. Our team of ASE Certified mechanics are ready to prepare your car before hurricane season begins. And if you find yourself in an emergency, we are just a phone call away. Call a mechanic today at (954) 746 0488. You can also visit Foreign Affairs Motorwerks’ Facebook page for exciting news and events updates.