Hurricane Florence is expected to impact our area later this week, and while we would like everyone to stay off of the road for maximum safety, we understand that there may be situations where you need to run to get gas, food, water, or family members. We have gathered a few tips for driving in a natural disaster so that you may stay safe in the weekend ahead! Be sure to #KnowYourZone if you live in the Hampton Roads area and evacuate if necessary.
If You’re Driving When a Natural Disaster Strikes
Some natural disasters hit without warning or hit an area they were not projected to strike. Unfortunately, one of the worst places to be during a disaster is inside a car, as 1.3 million of the 5.8 million accidents that occur in the U.S. each year are connected to weather. That said, there are going to be times when you get caught unexpectedly in a storm or earthquake. Here are some tips to help you stay as safe as possible if that happens.
- If you notice flooding, do not drive through it. Flooded roads are often much deeper than they appear, and flood waters can wash away the actual road in moments. Remember, 32% of all flood-related deaths occur in vehicles. It takes just 30 cm of flowing water to move your car.
- If possible, stay clear of heavily treed areas. High winds and rain-soaked ground can make for a very tense situation further inland where pine trees are common. Trees may unexpectedly fall over and crash onto the road, creating debris and sometimes entirely blocking the roadway. Know multiple routes in your area to prepare for this.
- Watch for cracks in the pavement and other risks. After an earthquake, tornado, hurricane or another serious storm, heading back out requires precautions. Watch out for cracked pavement, damaged bridges, downed power lines, and other potential risks.
- For high winds and tornadoes, do not stay inside your car. Find shelter as quickly as possible and move far away from your car if you are at risk for a tornado. A ditch or depression in the ground is the best place to hide if you are not near any buildings. Cover your head with your hands and wait.