Hurricane Season Officially Starts June 1st
For anyone new to Houston, our hurricanes are not to be taken lightly. Two tropical storms, Arthur and Bertha, formed before the season officially started. It is vital we all begin our preparations now. Waiting until the last minute could have devastating consequences.
1. Have your vehicle completely looked over and up-to-date on all maintenance. In the event you are asked to evacuate, sitting in traffic for hours can be the straw on the camel’s back that prevents you from getting where you need to go for shelter. During each evacuation there are always many cars broken due to overheating. The engine’s coolant is meant to keep your engine cool but with the high temperatures in Texas, plus the car baking in the sun on a hot highway surrounded by other hot cars—it is no surprise when this happens.
2. High water is dangerous here in Houston. You never know when you will need to seek high ground. Be aware of your surroundings and take mental notes in the event you need to turn back. Rising water is very dangerous. Never underestimate the power of water. If you receive a flood warning in an unfamiliar area, find high ground immediately—avoid underground garages and try to wait out the rain once you’ve found a safe location.
3. Assemble an emergency kit. Even if you have roadside assistance, it is really important you have your own kit in case your roadside assistance service cannot reach you. I personally have a little box that I move to whatever car I am driving so I’m never without whatever I might need. You can read more about that here.
4. Don’t drive on an empty tank! I used to be pretty guilty of this but I have gotten so much better: I normally fill up between ¼ to ½ tank. In hurricane season good gasoline habits are especially important. You never know when a severe weather warning will be issued so it is best to have enough fuel to run whatever errands you need. Try your best to fill your tank prior to the hurricane landfall.
5. Prepare. Take pictures of your vehicle inside and out in case of the unfortunate event of your car taking on water. (Tips: Make sure the interior looks as clean as possible and maybe wax the outside before, too! Also know where the title is located.). Plan where you are going to park the car during the event. If possible, park your vehicle facing the exit in the event you need to leave urgently, avoiding trees or power lines that can be blown down.