Is your truck prepared for a natural disaster?

natural_disaster  Regardless of geography, at some point you’ll be faced with having to prepare for a natural disaster. Whether it’s a tornado, hurricane, earthquake or cosmic explosion, don’t be left ill-equipped. Below are some helpful tips to prepare yourself and your truck for when disaster strikes.

Taking the steps to prepare your truck is critical for a safe evacuation. It’s most important to have a full fuel tank. Also, make sure to conduct a thorough vehicle assessment, including checking vehicle fluids (motor oil, brake, transmission, coolant etc…), tires, windshield wipers, brakes, exhaust system, heater/defroster, battery and lights.

Create an emergency disaster relief kit for your truck. Make sure to include essential truck necessities, such as jumper cables, flares, cones, an extra vehicle battery, ice scraper and cell phone charger. Don’t overlook standard relief supplies such as extra clothing (coats, gloves, rain gear, socks, boots and hats), non-perishable food, water, shelter (sleeping bag/blanket, plastic ground cover), flashlight, batteries, battery-operated radio, cash and first aid supplies. Place copies of your critical information in waterproof containers or plastic zipped bags in case you need to evacuate. Place the disaster relief items in a bag that can be easily carried in case your vehicle becomes disabled and you are required to walk.

When encountering a natural disaster, please remember the following:

Flooding: Avoid driving through a flooded area. Six inches of water can cause a truck to lose control or stall the engine. 12 inches of water will float many trucks, leaving irreparable engine damage. This much water has enough power to sweep away your truck.

Earthquake: Pull over to a flat area away from utility lines, buildings and trees. Where power lines could fall, stay in your truck to prevent the risk for electrical shock. Once the quake has ceased, avoid bridges, ramps and areas that could have experienced unapparent damage.

Tornados: All types and classes of trucks are subject to being damaged by tornadoes. Get to a sturdy shelter or lie flat in a low spot in order to avoid possible airborne vehicles and debris. Do not park your car under an overpass. Overpasses act like funnels in which winds could be concentrated. Watch out for hail and other flying debris.

Snow: Make sure your car has ample antifreeze and windshield wiper fluid. Equip your truck with studded snow tires or add chains to existing tires, and verify the tires are properly inflated. Avoid abrupt acceleration or braking, which could lead to loss of traction and control. Do not tailgate; do not use cruise control, and limit lane changes.

Following just a few helpful tips could be the determining factor in avoiding disaster. Remember, taking preventative measures could save more than just the life of your truck.

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