Severe Weather Frequently Asked Questions

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How can I prepare for a hurricane?

Make sure your car is reliable in case you need to use it to evacuate. Before hurricane season, check the car's battery, tires, brakes and engine/transmission. If you are asked to evacuate, do so without delay. Always monitor official weather bulletins and follow recommended evacuation routes. Bring a flashlight with extra batteries, a first-aid kit, cash and credit cards, water, snacks and other non-perishable food items. Remember: You could end up spending a day or more in your car. Also bring important documents packed in a waterproof bag, including your auto/home insurance documents, vehicle registrations and titles.

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How can I protect my car from a hurricane?

The best protection is to take the car with you when you evacuate. If you can't take your car with you, be sure to park it on higher ground, away from sources of potential debris or anything that could fall on it. Remove electronics, accessories and personal property from your car and seal it from rain with a tarp and waterproof tape.

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How can I protect my RV or motorcycle from a hurricane?

The best way to protect your RV or motorcycle is to take it with you when you evacuate. If you must leave a vehicle behind, park it indoors, in a building built to withstand high winds and not likely to flood. If you have to park your vehicle outdoors, park it in an area that's not susceptible to flooding or flying debris.

To protect your RV, avoid parking it in an area with other large vehicles. Disconnect propane canisters and remove electronics, personal gear and exterior accessories such as canopies. Make your RV as watertight as possible by sealing the air conditioning unit, doors and hatches with plastic sheeting and tape.

Motorcycles also should be covered in plastic sheeting sealed with tape and secured in an upright position. You also can remove one wheel and put that axle on a block to help prevent theft.

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How can I protect my boat from a hurricane?

Decide now where you'll keep your boat during a hurricane and how you'll get it there. Before a hurricane watch is posted, remove your boat from the water, if possible. If you can't get your boat out of the water, moor it away from other boats and make sure you have everything you need to secure it, including extra lines, chafe protection, fenders, anchors, port plugs, duct tape and extra batteries. Take portable personal effects such as fishing gear and portable electronic equipment out of your boat and secure it indoors. If you own a sailboat, do your best to secure the mainsail and jib.

Take photos of your boat after it is secured. The photos will make it easier to show your claims representative what property was damaged and, if your boat is lost during a storm, the photos may help your claims representative locate it.

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Is it safe to stack my boat inside a storage facility?

Generally, moving your boat indoors is a good idea as most indoor storage facilities are built to withstand strong winds. However, if the storage facility sustains damage, it's possible your boat also will be damaged.

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I can haul my boat on a trailer. Where should I park it?

If your boat is trailerable, you should take your boat with you when you evacuate. If you cannot take it with you, secure it on your property using every means available to you. Be sure to lock the trailer to help protect against theft. Take photos of your boat and trailer after they're secured. The photos will make it easier to show your claims representative what property was damaged and, if the boat and/or trailer are lost during a storm, the photos may help your claims representative locate them.

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I have to leave my boat in the water. What can I do to help protect it?

If your boat is moored at a marina, you should use new line to secure your boat to the pier. Place fenders on the sides of the boat so it will not sustain damage if it hits the dock. If your boat is not moored in a marina, you should place it away from other structures and boats and secure it using new line and three, proper-sized anchors.

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Is it safe to drive through standing water?

No. Never drive through standing water. Find an alternate route. Underlying currents could carry your vehicle away and your car could stall, trapping you in rising floodwaters.

Don't overlook deep water dangers during and after hurricanes. Dirty water and sediment flow in with sudden coastal and inland flooding, and if you try to drive through deep water, you're putting yourself at risk. Also, do not, under any circumstances, drive over a downed electrical line.

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Is it safe to drive my RV or motorcycle in a hurricane?

RVs and motorcycles are particularly vulnerable to hurricane-force winds and rain. If you are going to use one of these vehicles to evacuate, leave early — you don't want to get caught in high winds and heavy rains that can precede a serious storm.

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What should I do if I'm driving and it starts to hail?

If you can do it safely, pull your vehicle off the road as far as possible, preferably beneath the shelter of an overpass or bridge, so hail doesn't break your windshield or any windows - driving compounds hail's impact with your car. If no shelter is available, pull safely out of traffic and onto a shoulder (avoid ditches due to possible high-rising water). Try to angle your vehicle so the hail is hitting the front of the car. Windshields are reinforced to withstand driving and pelting objects. Side windows and rear windows are not.

Turn on emergency flashers. Stay inside the vehicle and lie down, if possible, with your back to the windows. If you have a blanket, use it to cover yourself to prevent possible debris from hitting you.

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Please Note: The safety precautions in this section are general recommendations intended to help protect yourself, others and your personal property from a catastrophic event. We encourage you to use your own good judgment about how to best prepare for, keep safe and recover from these events.