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Hurricane heading to Florida: Emergency weather preparation for RVers

• RV Lifestyle

In bad weather, RVs are seriously vulnerable. A sticks and bricks building is always safer. But because an RV, by its very definition, is mobile, it has one huge advantage over most structures: It can – and should! – be moved when there are dangerous weather warnings.

It's not just hurricanes, of course. There are tornados, wildfires, blizzards, floods, electrical storms, and many other emergency situations that all RVers can encounter. Having an emergency plan and being prepared should be at the top of every RVers priority list.

Read: Dangerous Weather While Camping: Staying Safe in Storms

Let's start with those in the face of Hurricane Ian.

What should RVers do before an approaching hurricane?

As soon as it looks like your area is about to be under a Hurricane Watch, have your fuel tank filled. If your RV or its generator uses propane, fill that, too.

Get to a supermarket and buy bottled water and enough food to get you out of the area. When it's a Hurricane Warning, you'll find fuel stations with long lines and outages and grocery stores with bare shelves.

Follow the advice of local officials. If evacuations are being suggested, don't think about it. Unhook and get out. Immediately. Roads will quickly clog. Traveling in an RV is slow enough. You want to be on the road before gridlock sets in.

Don't dally. Following the evacuation routes away from the storm and drive long and hard to get out of the approaching storm. The sooner you can get to a safe zone the sooner you can find a welcoming campground to stay until the emergency passes. HINT: Those campgrounds will quickly fill with other hurricane refugees.

Closely monitor news stations in the areas you drive through. Keep checking weather apps, monitor a NOAA weather radio (every RVer should have one) and pay careful attention to the emergency signs on freeways and turnpikes advising of changing traffic situtations.
Read: The Best Weather App for 2022

If bad weather hits while driving, do your best to avoid driving through standing water. If you must, slow down. Be careful when slowing or stopping as too much water on your brakes can severely limit their effectiveness. Read: 3 Critical Bad Weather Tips and The Best Three Severe Weather Apps

Carry paper maps with you. In heavy traffic, cell towers can be overwhelmed, disrupting the GPS navigation apps you may use. If you have a dedicated satellite GPS system, use it for more reliable coverage.

Don't second guess your decision to move out. If the hurricane fizzles or hits a different area, that means you can get back to where you want to be faster. If not, that means you'll be safe.