Hurricane Heading for Florida: Emergency Weather Preparedness for RVers

As Hurricane Ian heads for the west coast of Florida today, it’s a reminder of how seriously emergency weather preparedness for RVers should be taken.

In bad weather, RVs are seriously vulnerable. A stick and brick building is always safer. But because an RV, by its very definition, is mobile, it has a huge advantage over most structures: it can – and should! – be moved in the event of a dangerous weather alert.

It’s not just hurricanes, of course. There are tornadoes, wildfires, blizzards, floods, electrical storms, and many other emergencies that all RVs can encounter. Having an emergency plan and being prepared should be at the top of every RVer’s priority list.

Read: Dangerous weather when camping: staying safe during storms

Let’s start with those dealing with Hurricane Ian.

What should RVers do before a hurricane approaches?

  • As soon as it looks like your area is about to go under a hurricane watch, have your fuel tank topped up. If your motorhome or its generator uses propane, fill it up as well.
  • Go to a supermarket and buy bottled water and enough food to get you out of the zone. When it comes to a hurricane warning, you’ll find gas stations with long lines and breakdowns and grocery stores with bare shelves.
  • Follow the advice of local authorities. If evacuations are suggested, don’t think about it. Pick up and exit. Immediately. Roads will clog quickly. Traveling in a motorhome is quite slow. You want to be on the road before the traffic jam sets in.
  • Not lagging. Follow the escape routes away from the storm and drive long and hard to get out of the approaching storm. The sooner you can get to a safe area, the sooner you can find a friendly campground to stay in until the emergency. pass. TIP: These campsites will quickly fill up with other hurricane refugees.
  • Keep a close eye on information stations in the areas you pass through. Keep checking weather apps, watch for a NOAA weather radio (every motorhome should have one), and pay close attention to emergency signs on highways and toll roads indicating changing traffic conditions.
    Read: The best weather app for 2022
  • If bad weather hits while driving, do your best to avoid crossing standing water. If you must, slow down. Be careful when slowing down or stopping, as too much water on your brakes can severely limit their effectiveness. Read: 3 critical tips for bad weather and the three best apps for extreme weather
  • Take paper maps with you. In heavy traffic, cell towers can be overwhelmed, disrupting GPS navigation apps you may be using. If you have a dedicated satellite GPS system, use it for more reliable coverage.
  • Don’t second guess your decision to move. If the hurricane fizzles or hits a different area, it means you can get back to where you want to be faster. Otherwise, it means you will be safe.
Hurricane Heading for Florida: Emergency Weather Preparedness for RVers

How to protect your motorhome in the event of a hurricane?

If you can’t haul it out of the area, know that experts say an RV should be able to withstand 75 mph winds without tipping over.

But that doesn’t mean it won’t be damaged by flying debris. Try to protect your windows. Many Rvers use something called Plylox clips, which allow you to easily attach plywood and can be purchased at a local store or through Amazon. Put on a front window covering if you have one.

Deploy your stabilizer jacks and wheel chocks.

Take a video of everything in your RV in case it gets damaged, so you have a record for insurance purposes.

And don’t stay in it as the storm approaches. Go to a designated shelter.

Read: Hurricane Safety Tips

More resources on emergency weather preparation for RVers

We’ve written a lot about emergencies and RV. Here are some other suggested resources:

Bottom Line: Take Weather Warnings Seriously

By no means have we covered everything relating to emergency preparations for caravanners. But we hope it was helpful. And what will make it even more useful is if you add your suggestions in the comments below.

Be safe, everyone!

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