Driving Safety Tips for Hurricanes and Tropical Storms

Why do they always name hurricanes and tropical storms after my family members? My Aunt Gale gets so upset when the weather man mentions the phrase “gale winds.” But she really is a big, blowing bag of hot air, just ask her beaten-down husband. Meteorologists began giving women’s names to tropical storms before the end of the 19th century. In 1953, the U.S. began using exclusively female names for storms, until 1978 when they began using both male and female names for storms. So, while storms are named after people, tumors are still named after breakfast fruits and hail after sports balls…scientists are weirdos.

I went car shopping for a used car last summer. One car we looked at was in our price range and it appeared to be in fair condition, at least from the outside. But when we took it for a test drive, the seat belts were rusty and the interior panels were warped. I opened the glove compartment, looking for information about the previous owner. She was from New Orleans. It all added up, the car had likely survived Hurricane Katrina in 2005. We passed on that car.

Not only can hurricanes and tropical storms do a number on your sweet ride, you must also be prepared to travel. The American Red Cross has compiled a list of items for your survival kit for traveling during hurricane and tropical storm season.

So here are some great driving safety tips when traveling near or in hurricanes or tropical storms:
• Water—one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
• Food—non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
• Flashlight
• Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
• Extra batteries
• First aid kit
• Medications (7-day supply) and medical items
• Multi-purpose tool
• Sanitation and personal hygiene items
• Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
• Cell phone with chargers
• Family and emergency contact information
• Extra cash
• Emergency blanket
• Map(s) of the area

And my final driving safety tips to you this day is – always plan ahead and leaving early when a serious storm threat is broadcast, is the best bet. There is no way to instruct someone how to drive in a tropical storm and certainly not during a hurricane. So, being as far away from the site of the storm is the safest place to be.
Until next week…

Daun Thompson
Comedienne / Writer / Artist

Hurricanes and Tropical Storms – Comedy Defensive Driving