Severe Weather and RV Safety
As we all know, severe weather can happen anytime, often with little warning. Preparing beforehand is vital to stay safe when intense weather strikes. If you live in a mobile home or RV, there are some special considerations you need to take into account in order to be fully prepared. By following these different weather scenario tips, you can help ensure your safety and the safety of your loved ones when severe weather hits.
Flash flooding is one of the most devastating and dangerous disasters affecting mobile homes and RVs. The combination of heavy rains and lack of ground coverage (from the lack of a proper foundation) can turn even the smallest floodwaters into treacherous and dangerous.Regarding flash flooding, homeowners should have an evacuation plan ready and know exactly where to go. Moving your mobile home or RV to higher ground is the first step. Areas located at higher elevations will be safer and less prone to flooding. It’s also helpful to check local weather reports regularly to ensure you know of any potential flash flooding risk.Having a survival kit in a flash flood is equally essential. This kit should include flashlights and batteries, canned food and bottled water, first aid supplies, necessary documents such as insurance policies, and medication instructions. Always pay attention to an evacuation order. If local authorities put out any evacuation orders, heed them and move as quickly as possible. Doing so will ensure better safety for both you and your property.
One of the most dangerous types of severe weather is a tornado. Mobile home and RV owners must take swift and appropriate action in an approaching tornado. Your priority should be to move to an interior room in your home or vehicle that does not have any windows. If this is not an option, you can use pillows, blankets, or mattresses to cover yourself and any pets. In addition, all mobile homes and RVs should have an emergency kit in the event of a tornado. This should include flashlights, radios, blankets, bottled water, and other items. Having an evacuation plan is important if you need to leave your mobile home or RV in a hurry. If you own a mobile home or RV, you should also consider getting tornado insurance. This coverage can help you with repairs if a tornado causes damage to your mobile home.
Severe thunderstorms can be just as destructive as hurricanes, approaching tornados, or earthquakes. These storms cause flash flooding and high winds that can cause damage to both mobile homes and RVs. In preparation for a severe thunderstorm, mobile and RV homeowners should inspect their roofs and entire property for potential damage and make necessary repairs. If you have time before the storm approaches, it is advised that you move your mobile home or RV to higher ground, preferably a sturdy and safe building. Just as important as physical preparation is having an emergency weather kit already stocked. This kit should include items like a battery-powered radio or flashlight, charged cell phone, first-aid supplies and medications, canned food, bottled water, and any other supplies necessary to ride out the storm. It would be best to discuss an evacuation plan with your family members describing where to go and how to get there.
Winter storms can leave your mobile home or RV buried in snow for days or weeks. As temperatures moderate, snow melts and can cause water damage to your roof or walls. If you are unprepared, the magnitude of the storm damage could be extremely severe.To protect your mobile home or RV from winter damage, you must take the following steps:
- Inspect the roof for any sagging or missing shingles.
- Inspect the outside walls for missing or cracked siding.
- Check the doors and windows to ensure they are sealed tight.
- Keep the gutters and downspouts clear of all debris.
You can install a “snow fence” around your property for further protection. The fence will act as an additional protection against the winter winds, snow and cold. Also, stock up on winter supplies such as firewood, blankets and antifreeze to reduce trips in wintry conditions.
Another type of severe weather you should be prepared for is a hurricane. When a hurricane approaches, RV and mobile homeowners should take extra precautions to ensure safety.The first step is to secure windows with boards or shutters. If you do not have shutters available, screws and plywood are also an effective solution. You should also add extra weight to your mobile home. This can be done by filling sandbags and placing them at the outside corners of your home or RV.When packing your emergency kit, including items needed during a power outage is important. This can be a battery-operated radio or flashlight, extra batteries, food, and water. You should also have a manual can opener, blankets, and a primary tool kit.It’s crucial to have an evacuation plan in place in case you need to leave your home or RV immediately. Review your plan with all your family members, and practice it regularly to ensure everyone understands what to do if the unfortunate were to happen.
No matter what weather event is the cause, always document any damage with photos so you will have them if you need to file a claim for damages. In some cases, insurance companies will cover property damages caused by severe storms, although it is best to consult with your insurance company beforehand to be sure.
Being prepared for severe weather is crucial for the safety of mobile home and RV owners. Whether facing flash floods, tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, winter storms, or hurricanes, having a plan in place can minimize damage and ensure the well-being of occupants. From knowing evacuation routes to securing windows, stocking emergency kits, and inspecting the property, taking proactive steps can make a significant difference. Remember to document any damage for insurance claims and consult with your insurance company regarding coverage. By following these tips, mobile home and RV owners can better protect themselves and their property when severe weather strikes.