June 10, 2022
Hurricane season runs from June 1st until November 30th each year and, if you are traveling near any coast lines in the United States, you’ll want to be prepared. The lists of what to have can be very elaborate and expensive, so you’ll want to prioritize. But, if you live or travel in your RV, you are probably more prepared than you realize. I can also tell you from being a Floridian all my life, some of the afternoon storms can be as severe as a hurricane, although briefer, so it’s a good idea to keep these handy. Also plan to have a “bug out” bag or box ready for these items will make a quick escape easier, especially if you need to leave your rig behind in a hurry.
Here’s a quick breakdown of what you need to do if you’ll be in these areas.
FOOD AND WATER These are, of course, the most crucial, but don’t need to be overdone. Having a 5 day supply on hand as a minimum will help you through until help can arrive. Nonperishables such as dry goods or canned items are helpful, just keep in mind what will be needed to prep them. Microwaves or access to a firepit or wood may not be available, in most cases, so things you can eat straight from the package are best. If you do opt for canned items, be sure to have a manual can opener on hand. As for water, fill those tanks! A good back up is to get a cooler with a spigot dispenser on the bottom. You can fill with ice and let it melt or add water from your tank.
POWER While RV’s come with a house battery, it won’t be sufficient to run your entire rig with all the creature comforts and you don’t want to rely on shore power being available. There are a few options to choose from, depending on your budget, and can come in handy for camping or pit stops anytime. First, you can add solar panels–either installed on your roof, or have portable panels, just be aware of how much charge time and power they provide and plan accordingly. You can also purchase a generator if your rig doesn’t have one on board. Be sure to have fuel on hand to run it for a minimum of 5 days. Adding additional batteries to store extra power is a good idea, no matter which you choose.
MEDICAL A first aid kit is an absolute essential item, but also be sure you have access to any medications you take, or may need to take.
PET If you have pets traveling with you, be sure to have food, water and medications for them, as well. I also recommend a kennel or crate of some sort and a blanket, towel or shirt with your smell on it to comfort them. If you must go to a shelter or be transported, this may be required, and it can also create a safe place for them to shelter in, wherever you may be.
COMMUNICATION Have an extra charger for your devices, as well as waterproof plastic bags for storage. A freezer zipper bag an work well. It is also good to have a secondary communication device, such as walkie talkie or CB radio, in the event a cell phone won’t have reception. Next, have some type of weather radio to tune into and always check the area you are staying in to know which county and zone you are in as well as nearby broadcast locations.
EMERGENCY REPAIRS In the event of damage, you’ll want to have some basic tools such as a drill, hammer, screwdriver, and nails/screws on hand. Having other supplies like duct tape, tarps, an axe or even a chainsaw can be useful, if you have the room for them. Extra fuses are always good to have on hand.
EVACUATION PLAN If you are mobile, the best plan may be to evacuate before an evacuation order comes in. Whenever you travel in this area, be sure to know where local shelters are, if they can meet your pet or medical needs, if you are in a flood zone and have multiple routes to leave the area. Have a plan in place of where to go and keep fuel tanks filled so you can leave at the earliest possible sign. If you have friends or family in the area, make contact with them so they are aware and can let you know about sheltering with them, or what their evacuation plan may be. You don’t want to plan to stay with them, only to find out they may be evacuating. Always be sure a family member or another point of contact knows where you are and what your plan is. This can be helpful if you are in an area hit and the Red Cross needs to locate you or relay messages. Don’t wait until the last minute–waiting until it is 24 -48 hours out or a mandatory evacuation order is in place can result in slow moving traffic and can be dangerous since there is no guarantee it will clear in time. Many timeline predictions are based on landfall of the eye, but the storm can reach farther out well in advance of the storm.
If you do plan to evacuate, don’t forget to call ahead and cancel or change any reservations you have. This will help them in their evacuation plans and they won’t be waiting for you.
Whatever you do, plan for emergencies well before the need arises and always err on the side of safety.
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