As a Florida resident, you’ve learned what to do with your family and home when a hurricane strikes. However, you can also prep your car, especially if you need to leave it behind when evacuating. Use these tips from your local South Florida Honda Dealers.

Take Pictures

Document how your car looks before the hurricane strikes. Take lots of pictures of your vehicle both inside and out. Don’t forget to get shots of the engine, underbody, and the trunk as rising waters can enter any part of your car. After the storm, take pictures of the same areas of your vehicle. You will then have the “Before and After” versions which can make filing an insurance claim easier.

Get It Ready to Move

You may receive very little notice to evacuate with your vehicle. At the first inkling of a storm, prep your car to move. Fill the tank up, check the battery (certainly wouldn’t be the best time to have a dead one), and make sure all fluids, such as oil and coolant, are at recommended levels. Fuel and power may be hard to find before and after an emergency. Properly inflate tires, including the spare if you have one, and replace your wiper blades if needed.

In case you have to abandon your vehicle on the road, make sure you pack emergency supplies like a flashlight, non-perishable food, first-aid kit, jumper cables, rain gear, emergency blanket, bottled water, seat belt cutter, and a window breaker.

Make Copies

Make copies of your car registration and insurance, and give them to all licensed drivers in your family. Use your smartphone to take pictures that can be texted or emailed to all parties involved. Your smartphone is a quick way of making the copies. Consider also having a portable cell phone power bank to keep your smartphone going. Keep hard copies of your ID, birth certificate, and list of medications in a ziplock bag.

Make duplicates of the car keys and ensure those that need it, have it. If you or your family get separated from the vehicle, it can still be operated by the family member that finds it. While you’re at it, make sure that you’ve established a common meeting point during or after the storm. Again, if anyone is separated, you’ll know where to find them.

Park It Safely

Guard your vehicle against rising water and strong winds by parking your car in your garage. If your home is prone to flooding, find a commercial parking structure, and shelter your vehicle in the middle of the upper levels, if possible. This action protects it from strong winds, falling trees and power lines, and floods. Another option is near a building on higher ground on the side away from approaching winds. The structure’s walls will help defend against strong gusts.

There are plenty of large structures like hotels in any of the areas from Miami Lakes, Florida City, and Homestead. Don’t forget other structures like the Aventura Mall. Anyone in Key Biscayne or Miami Beach should bring their vehicle off the island over to Miami for safe-keeping.

Driving Tips

    • Avoid driving during a hurricane unless necessary or you may find yourself in worse straits than if you had just stayed put. If you must brave the streets, follow these tips:
    • Be aware of what’s around you on the road. Large vehicles may be pushed over by high winds, so keep your distance from big-rigs and busses. Assess whether walls, hillsides, and bridges have been weakened by rain or wind before trying to drive next to or on them.
    • Look out for fallen trees or downed power lines. Do not get out in an area that contains both water and exposed lines on the ground. Water is a conductor of electricity, and you’ll be electrocuted when your feet hit the ground.
    • Do not cross flooded roads or bridges. The water may cause the vehicle engine to stall, or be swept away by rushing water.
    • Turn on your daytime running lights and fog lights to maintain your visibility to other drivers.

Don’t wait for the next storm to be on the horizon; get your car checked regularly before the next hurricane season. Call for an appointment with your local South Florida Honda Dealer today.