Trucker's Guide to Preparing for Hurricane Season
Hurricane season for the Northern Hemisphere begins on June 1 and ends on November 30. During this time, it's important to have a plan in place to protect yourself and your truck when hurricanes affect the area you're driving through.
Each year, hurricanes cause devastating damage to trucks located in vulnerable regions. Read below to see how you can prepare yourself and your truck for hurricane season.
How to Prepare Your Truck for Hurricane Season
Preparing your truck for hurricane season will allow you to travel safely in the event of a storm. Follow our tips below so you're ready whenever the weather changes.
1. Prepare Before the Storm
Take precautions to ensure you have the proper equipment, fuel, and routes marked before a storm hits. This way, you'll be able to gather essential supplies like food, water, medication, etc before they sell out in stores. Plus, by having all the necessary tools you'll need to secure your truck and your items before a storm arrives, you'll be able to act quicker, keeping yourself and your truck safe.
2. Create a Truck Safety Kit
Ensure you're safe in case of an emergency by creating a truck safety kit. This will be useful if you need to shelter in place. Pack enough food, water, and supplies for at least a few days. You should also consider additional items such as:
- Battery-operated weather radio
- Paper maps with locations of shelters, gas, and other important locations highlighted
- Non-perishable food
- Change of clothes
- Battery-based chargers for phones/tablets/etc
3. Make an Emergency Plan
Storms can happen anytime, so it helps to create a plan in advance. Your emergency plan should include locations where you can safely stop and park your truck and trailer, as well as storm shelters you can go to.
If you cannot keep your truck or trailer inside due to flooding or a lack of space, park them at a high location. Keep them close to other trucks and trailers as well, placing empty trailers between loaded ones to prevent the wind from moving them.
It always helps to have a truck-specific road atlas with your emergency locations and evacuation routes highlighted. This way you won't be lost in the event that GPS goes down.
4. Know Your Evacuation Routes
You'll need to know where to go to stay safe during dangerous weather. Work with your company and fellow drivers to find evacuation routes in advance. Make sure to choose multiple routes and use the best one based on the hurricane's direction.
Emergency management departments in coastal states publish evacuation information that you can share with your employers and your fellow truck drivers.
5. Locate Emergency Shelters
Know where the nearest hurricane shelter is so you can navigate there if necessary. Consult with your management company and other drivers for the best shelters in multiple areas, then mark them on your GPS tablet and your map so you're prepared whenever a storm hits.
6. Conserve Fuel
Conserving fuel and storing enough to outlast the storm's effects will ensure you aren't affected by increased prices and potential shortages. Several steps you can take to prepare your emergency fuel supply include:
- Fill your tank.
- Fill any emergency gas cans you have.
- Conserve fuel by choosing efficient routes.
- Avoid fuel-wasting habits like excessive idling and speeding.
7. Stay Up to Date on Weather Conditions
Purchase a battery-operated weather radio and download weather apps to stay up to date on hurricane conditions and development. A hurricane's trajectory can change quickly, so you'll want to have alerts enabled so you can plan accordingly.
8. Allow for More Travel Time
Hurricanes can shut down routes and create traffic jams, so you should add extra time to your routes so you don't feel compelled to rush.
Get Safety Solutions from Rand McNally
Whether you need reliable navigation or tips for staying safe on the road, Rand McNally is here to help. We've been a trusted guide for travelers for over 100 years. Browse our driver electronics line to find headsets, GPS truck tablets, or purchase the latest edition of our Motor Carriers Road Atlas so you're prepared for the road ahead.
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