How to Prepare You and Your Car for Hurricane Sandy Flooding

If you are in the costal Mid-Atlantic, Hurricane Sandy is already upon you at the time of this writing. For NYC and the Northeast, there are still hours before the brunt of the storm takes hold. Make the best use of that time by getting your family well prepared as well as getting your car(s) ready for the storm.

No matter what you do, what’s important tHoo keep in mind is that over 50% of flood fatalities are car-related.  So regardless of how good of a driver, drifter or lover of your car you are – it’s likely well insured and that means no matter what, it’s best to keep your ride (Bold or not) safely parked and most importantly, YOU not in it.

If you are stuck for some reason out in your ride, Progressive Insurance has outlined a few things to keep in mind:

Pay attention to barricades.
Don’t ignore them by driving past them. Seems simple, but it’s still a good idea.

Do not drive through standing water on roads or in parking lots.
The average automobile can be swept off the road in 12 inches of moving water, and roads covered by water are prone to collapse. Attempting to drive through water also may stall your engine, with the potential to cause irreparable damage if you try to restart the engine. If you come upon a flooded street, take an alternate route.

Take extra precautions if you’re forced to drive through water.
If no alternate route exists and you have no other reasonable alternative but to drive through standing water.

1. Do your best to estimate the depth of the water (if other cars are driving through, take note of how deep the water is)

2. Drive slowly and steadily through the water.

3. Avoid driving in water that downed electrical or power lines have fallen in — electric current passes through water easily

4. Watch for items traveling downstream — they can trap or crush you if you’re in their path.

5. If you have driven through water up to the wheel rims or higher, test your brakes on a clear patch of road at low speed. If they are wet and not stopping the vehicle as they should, dry them by pressing gently on the brake pedal with your left foot while maintaining speed with your right foot.

6. Stay off the telephone unless you must report severe injuries.

7. If your vehicle stalls in the deep water, you may need to restart the engine to make it to safety. Keep in mind that restarting may cause irreparable damage to the engine.

8. If you can’t restart your vehicle and you become trapped in rising water, immediately abandon it for higher ground. Try to open the door or roll down the window to get out of the vehicle. If you are unable to get out safely, call 911 or get the attention of a passerby or someone standing on higher ground so that they may call for help.

FEMA has issued several tips to keep your family vehicles safe throughout the hurricane:

1. Park car in garage or carport (yeah we know, duh).

2. If you have no garage or carport, park your car as close to the house as possible, so that at least one side of car will be protected from flying debris. Place your car where it will be most protected.

3. Two-car families may be able to park one car in a public garage and keep the other at home. Flooding and closed roads may make it impossible for you to retrieve your car immediately after the hurricane. There is usually little glass in parking garages, but if the sides are open, debris and water could damage your car.
3. If you have no electricity after the storm, unplug your electric garage door opener and open the door manually. All electric garage door openers have an emergency disconnect, a small cord hanging from the mechanism at the top of the door.

4. A canvas cover may protect your car’s finish from scratches and nicks, but the wind likely will tear it off.

Stay safe everyone and as long as you have power, just look at rides on BoldRide and try to keep your mind off it. That’s what we’re doing here in New York City.

Source: Progressive Insurance and FEMA

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