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Preparing For a Storm

As you have probably seen, the southern part of our country is experiencing large destructive hurricanes. Tropical storm Harvey flooded an enormous area around Houston and hurricane Irma is currently a couple days away from making landfall in southern Florida. Thankfully, here in Indiana we do not have to deal with hurricanes. However, large storms, tornados, and blizzards are weather events that still apply in our area. Storms can cause significant damage to both homes and vehicles, but keeping your car protected is very important in these situations as they are a very important asset to have. Take some of these steps to limit the danger you are put in and prepare for the worst.

     1.       Fuel
The first and most important part of planning ahead for your car is to make sure the tank is full. After a disaster, gas and diesel usually become scarce. To avoid lines and an empty car, plan ahead and fill your vehicle to the top. If you have an electric car, charge it. This is very straight forward, but forgetting to do these things could keep you stranded. You may need to evacuate and possibly will not have access to power or a gas station once the storm hits. Lastly, if you have any gas cans, we would suggest filling these as well.

     2.       Maintenance
Check your vehicle and rectify any issues you may find before the storm hits. This includes checking your oil, checking your tire pressure, topping off wiper fluid, etc. One of the worst things that could happen during/after a hurricane or storm would your car breaking down. No one would be available to fix your car. Do whatever you can to make sure that doesn’t happen.

     3.       Parking
If you are not evacuating to a different location, parking your car in the safest and smartest way possible could save your vehicle. If you have a garage, park your car inside facing outward so it is easy to get out. If you have a cover for your car, you should utilize it. This will protect your car from other objects that may be in the garage. The garage door is not a strong part of a home, so it is a good idea to brace the door against wind or something hitting it from the outside. Take items off of shelves and secure anything on the floor. If flooding occurs, this will prevent your things from floating away. If you live in an area that is prone to flooding, park your car on high ground, preferably next to a strong building, since this will provide some protection. Avoid parking next to or under trees or polls, since these have a tendency to fall.

     4.       Pictures and Documentation
If you know a storm is coming that could potentially cause damage, take pictures of anything that could become damaged. This will speed up the process of submitting a claim and also make it easier. You should put your title, registration, and insurance information into a waterproof box, safe, or other container. This will keep them safe and have everything you need if something does happen to your property.

     5.       Be prepared
Even if you aren’t planning for a disaster, it is a great idea to have some supplies ready to go for a pop-up storm. This should include food and water, as well as extra clothing, flashlights, phone chargers, blankets, etc. Prepare as much as you want, but these general items would be able to fill a backpack for easy grab and go. This will help you be prepared at a moment’s notice.

Being prepared and having a plan can protect you and your family in any natural disaster. As always, make sure you know what your homeowners insurance and auto insurance policies cover. You don’t want to file a claim and then find out you weren’t covered for flooding or something else that might have caused damages.