Planning ahead is the key to safety in any type of emergency, and when it comes to electrical storms or hurricanes, it is critical that not only your family is safe, but also that your personal property is secure. Duke Energy recommends the following to help you protect your car and boat, as well as the lives of others.
- Cover your vehicle, or better yet, park it inside a garage.
- Evacuation may become necessary, so fill your gas tank well in advance to avoid long lines and possible gas shortages. During an evacuation, routes can become congested causing you to have long waits in traffic. And remember, gas pumps will not operate without electricity.
- Pack the following emergency supplies in your car: booster cables and tools, tire repair kit/spare tire, matches, flashlights, shovel, and traction mats. Also, depending on the severity of the storm (you might need supplies for up to two weeks): necessary medications, blankets or sleeping bags, water, snacks, a can opener, clothes and a first aid kit/manual.
- During the storm:
- Avoid driving on coastal or low-lying roads because flooding caused by storms can occur with no warning.
- If you must drive, get to your destination as soon as possible. Never attempt to drive through flooded areas since they can be deep, and rising floodwaters could quickly sweep your car away or cause your engine to stall.
- Keep away from fallen power lines. If you are in an automobile that is hit by fallen wires, do not leave the vehicle. If you must leave because of a life-threatening situation, use extreme caution. Jump out and off with both feet so you are completely clear of the vehicle before you touch the ground. Never touch the car and the ground at the same time.
- After the storm:
- When you return to the area, be aware of fallen lines, debris in the roads and other hazards. Unfortunately, your chances of experiencing a flat tire then are good.
- Pay attention to any other post-storm changes, such as missing signs or broken traffic signal lights. After a hurricane, you may find it difficult to navigate in the newly changed landscape.