Although Hurricane Dorian is not forecast to make landfall until Tuesday, It is important that Georgia residents prepare now. The storm will bring heavy rains and strong winds, which create dangerous driving conditions, with little to no visibility. AAA urges motorists to heed official warnings and stay off the roads, if possible.
“A storm of this magnitude can create significant damage to your home, and endanger the people inside,” said Montrae Waiters, spokeswoman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “It’s important to be prepared, because even if you do not face the brunt of the storm, peripheral winds and rain could knock out power for days.”
AAA urges people in the path of the storm to prepare their vehicle and home, stock up on supplies, and follow the advice of local officials.
Take Inventory of your Home
- Walk through your home with a video camera or smart phone.
- Keep a record of large purchases including the cost of the item, when purchased and model and serial numbers as available.
- Digital files should be stored on a cloud-based site or in a dry, secure place – such as a safe or safety deposit box for future reference when filing insurance claims.
- Secure windows and doors with hurricane shutters or plywood.
- Bring outdoor furniture and decorations inside.
- Bring in all bikes and children’s toys to prevent them from becoming projectiles or sustaining damage from the storm.
- Trim trees or bushes that could cause damage to your home in case of high winds.
Brace Doors and Openings
- Inspect the exterior of your home for minor repairs needed to roof, windows, down spouts, etc.
- Look for cracks of light around window or door frames, which need to be sealed to prevent water invasion.
- Brace your garage door from falling and close interior doors. An opening in the house during a hurricane causes depressurization, which can cause a house to collapse or lose its roof.
- Check with local authorities to determine if sand bags are being distributed to area residents.
- Fill and stack sandbags in front of doors and other openings to prevent flood waters from creeping inside your home.
Round up your Records
- Gather important documents such as birth certificates, Social Security cards, insurance and mortgage documents, medical records, etc.
- Make sure these documents are in a safe place that’s easily accessible.
- In the case of an evacuation, ensure you bring these documents with you.
Tips for driving safely Driving safety tips:
- Check traffic and weather conditions before heading out.
- Pack an emergency kit in your vehicle, which includes a flashlight with extra batteries; a first-aid kit; drinking water; mobile phone and car charger; extra snacks/food for your travelers and any pets; battery booster cables; and emergency flares or reflectors.
- Have a full tank of gas.
- Always wear your seat belt.
- Rainy conditions can cause low visibility: Turn on your headlights to help you see better and to allow other motorists to spot you better. Avoid using your high beams because you could blind other drivers and the extra light will reflect off the rain, causing more of a distraction for you.
- If you can’t see the edges of the road or other vehicles at a safe distance while driving during wet weather, pull of the road as far as you can and wait for the rain to ease up. Make sure to turn on emergency flashers to alert other drivers.
- Avoid standing water and flooded roads at all times. There is no way to tell how deep standing water is on a flooded road and driving through it can cause a vehicle to stall and result in severe damage to the vehicle from:
- Flooding the engine
- Warping brake rotors
- Loss of power steering
- Short in electrical components
- If your vehicle stalls in a flooded area, do not remain in the car. Abandon it as soon as possible and seek higher ground. Flood waters can elevate quickly, sweeping away the vehicle and its occupants.
Tips for Driving Safely in Strong Winds
- Anticipate gusts – Pay attention when driving through areas prone to strong winds or when weather reports forecast severe weather.
- Firmly grip the steering wheel. Know your vehicle, light cars, vans and other “boxy” vehicles are more likely to be blown by strong gusts of wind.
- Increase space between your vehicle and other motorists, especially vans, recreational vehicles and cars pulling trailers which may be adversely affected by the wind.
- Drive in these conditions only when absolutely necessary.