As a state with a semi-tropical climate, Louisiana receives many hurricanes, especially during summer and fall. These hurricanes frequently batter the coastline cities, and New Orleans is no exception. With prevailing winds, torrential rains and storm surges, hurricanes can devastate the state in many aspects. The debris and floods they leave behind create safety hazards for drivers, passengers and their vehicles. Hurricanes are an inevitable natural disaster that happen almost every year. So, how do you minimize the impact of hurricanes before, during and after they occur? Listed below are some safety tips to drive safe during hurricane season.
Before a Hurricane Strikes: Preparations
In this era of lightning-fast information, you will know about a potential hurricane as soon as it even forms. Preparing for a storm is the best way to use the ample time you have. Here are a few things for you to prepare to keep you and your family safe while on the road:
Plan your evacuation.
Come up with an evacuation plan. Make sure you know the route – as well as other alternative routes – for you and your family to get somewhere safe.
Pack an emergency supply kit.
A hurricane emergency supply kit will include food, water, medications, a first aid kit, batteries, flashlight, clothes, blankets and vital documents.
Have a physical roadmap ready.
Relying on smartphone map applications and a GPS may not be useful when a power outage is highly possible. In these situations, physical roadmaps come in handy for navigation.
Prepare basic car repair tools.
It’s likely that you’ll be on your own when you have a car problem. As such, you must bring the tools for common car problems, such as flat tires and broken headlight bulbs so you can have them fixed as soon as possible.
Fill up your gas tank.
Most gasoline stations are either closed or get damaged by the storm. To avoid being stuck in the middle of nowhere because you ran out of gas, keep your fuel tank filled up as much as you can.
During a Hurricane: Prevention and Mitigation
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 22% of the annual vehicular accidents are weather-related. In Louisiana alone, an average of 851 fatal vehicular accidents happen annually. Here are some tips for you to prevent and mitigate the impact of the storm:
Avoid flooded areas.
Flooded areas appear shallower than they are. Moreover, the flood itself can rise quickly and wash away everything on the road.
Watch out for damaged pavements and falling debris.
The surge of a hurricane destroys many things, from tree branches to the road structures. To avoid these risks, keeping an eye on these hazardous objects are essential.
Find shelter as soon as possible.
It’s a bad idea to stay in your car in the middle of a storm. You can be easily carried away by the flood, which can lead to your car drowning. To avoid this, look for a warm, comfortable and nearby shelter until the weather is well enough to tread again.
Follow the authorities.
When the storm is finally approaching, it will be too late to evacuate. Most routes are often closed to keep everyone safe from the hazards on the road. Thus, it’s best to comply with the local authorities and remain updated via radio stations and local news channels.
After the Hurricane: Precautions
Even after a hurricane, it’s still necessary to take precautions because of the dangers it left behind. Here are some precautionary measures to take to keep yourself safe after the hurricane.
Check your car for damage.
Your vehicle may be damaged by the hurricane or the flood, especially if it was submerged. Before using it again, it would not hurt to check if all parts work the way they should.
Always wear a seatbelt.
It’s uncertain where the hazards on the road are located, even if you are familiar with the road. Putting your seatbelt on might save your life.
Know the road risks.
Before heading out, you should know that the road is still slippery and that other damaged structures can still crumble. It’s always important to watch out for these to avoid accidents.
Follow temporary signs posted.
Signs are placed to keep you away from the danger ahead. It’s better to follow them to avoid any trouble.
Seeking a Louisiana Car Accident Attorney
The lists above are just a few common tips on how to drive safely when a hurricane strikes, as well as knowing your first line of prevention from potential injuries, car repairs and further costs a hurricane can bring. If you happen to be in a car accident caused by the weather, you might have trouble getting your insurance benefits when you needed it. In such cases where you need a car accident lawyer, do not hesitate to contact the Schwartz Law Firm for legal advice. Our experienced car accident attorneys handle any and all cases including work-related car accidents and car accidents in general. Schwartz Law has two locations in Louisiana for your convenience, one in Metairie and another in Baton Rouge. Feel free to call us today at 504-266-0253 for your free initial consultation.