Tis the Season for hurricanes–are you ready? As most of you know, RNR’s corporate headquarters are in Florida, but we have locations all over the country, and many of those locations feel the effects of hurricanes. So, as we head into the busiest part of the season this year, we thought it might be a good idea to create a “Hurricane Helper” list for all of you. Hurricanes are serious business. Whether you’re trying to evacuate and get out of the way, or you stay to ride it out, there are things you need to do so your vehicle is ready to weather the storm.
- Check your fluids. Here’s a list: transmission fluid, oil, gasoline (these first three have filters you need to check too), power-steering fluid, antifreeze, radiator fluid, brake fluid and windshield-wiper fluid. These are all important fluids to check, but we want to make a note on the gasoline check. Fill your tank, and fill any approved containers at home–and don’t wait until the last minute. Do you know how many procrastinators there are in the world? Well, you’ll find out if you decide to fill your gas tank at the last minute and people are lined up at the pumps or the wells are dry. Be proactive, fill up early. If the storm misses you, is it really such a bad thing to have a full tank of gas?
- Check your tires. This includes sidewalls (bulges, gouges, etc.), tread depth and pressure (including the spare). Hurricanes come with an abundance of rain, so make sure your tread depth is sufficient to handle that. If your tires are approaching cue-ball territory, you may have a real problem keeping your vehicle on the road and out of accidents when there’s standing water on the raodways. Now would be a good time to get those new tires you’ve been putting off (and don’t forget that we can set you up on a plan to fit your budget!).
- Have an emergency kit ready to go in your car or truck. This kit should include: a toolkit, pocket knife, fuses, road flares, tire sealant (downpours, high winds and loads of traffic are good reasons to go the sealant route), extra quarts of motor oil, power steering fluid, antifreeze, a tire jack, jumper cables, a flashlight, extra batteries, a battery-powered radio, a car-charger for your phone, a blanket, a can opener, a first aid kit, and water and food reserves. Did you know that you should have 3 gallons of water per person per day on reserve in case of emergency? But don’t worry–they don’t all have to go in your car.:)
- Have a good place to store your vehicle to keep it safe from the storm. If you have a garage or covered parking for you car, use it! If not, try to park your vehicle as close to your house or another building as possible, so that it may have some protection from the elements. If you’re on the coast or in a low-lying area or other area prone to flooding, move your car to higher ground. Finding a place to store your vehicle away from possible flood waters is another chore that you shouldn’t put off until the last minute. If you can, call a friend who lives on higher ground and arrange a safe place to keep your car away from high water and flooding. It’s hard to bring a car back from flooding. In fact, most folks recommend totaling a car if water has come above the floorboard. Water can wreak havoc (and run up big bills) on computers, busted electrical components in seats, electric windows, airbags, etc. When you start to add up all the things that would probably need replacing in a car (and we haven’t even hit on the engine damage yet!) that’s been flooded, all you see are dollar signs. It’s probably better to take the insurance check and start shopping for a new ride.
- Speaking of insurance, find your policy and check your hurricane coverage (if you have any). What exactly is covered and what’s the process for filing a claim? If you’re unsure about something, call the company and write down the name of the person you spoke with, as well as the date you talked, for future reference. Make sure you know what your policy covers and how you go about collecting, if you need to.
We’re hoping this hurricane season will be quiet and calm, but we’re getting ready–just in case.:) So, make like a Boy Scout and be prepared, folks! We’re happy to help! Come see us if you need your tires checked out or if you need to replace them. We can set you up with a plan you can afford, and we even have a roadside assistance plan available! We’re storm ready. Are you?