When you’re prepping for hurricane season, it’s easy to get caught up in protecting your house and making sure you’re stocked with basic supplies. You may totally forget about your car. This is a mistake — in a natural disaster, your car might be your saving grace.
If you get caught in extreme weather, having a stocked, maintained, and ready-to-go vehicle can make all the difference in getting you to safety. Here’s how you can prepare your car for hurricane season. (See also: What Hurricane Maria Taught My Family About Life, Money, and Community)
1. Keep it maintained
Before hurricane season starts, do a basic maintenance check. Get the oil changed, top off the wiper fluid, check the tire pressure, and clean the battery terminals. If you’re mechanically inclined and have the tools, you can do these tasks yourself; while you do, check some other basics. Otherwise, take it to your mechanic to get an oil change and an inspection.
Consider also checking:
Age and alignment of tires
The spare tire
Age of battery
Fluids: wiper fluid, coolant, oil
Condition of hoses and belts
The air conditioning/heating system
If you’ve been putting off a car repair due to time or budget constraints, it’s time to dig in and make it happen. You need reliable transportation. Schedule a time to take your car in as soon as you can. (See also: Bookmark This: Easy to Follow Car Maintenance Checklist)
2. Keep it fueled
Think about how much fuel you can safely store. In inclement conditions, gas becomes a high-demand item quickly. Keep your car’s tank above the halfway mark until hurricane season is over. Buy a gas can or two and keep them filled, and follow these basic safety rules:
Only use approved containers, and store them outside or in your garage or shed.
Keep them away from children, and don’t store them near pilot lights or ignition sources.
Don’t store gas indefinitely; it goes bad.
Periodically use what’s in the cans to fill your car, and then refill the cans.
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