Hurricane season in Florida and the Southeastern United States is generally from June through the end of September. Coincidentally, these are the high months of travel for families, retirees and snowbirds alike. So if you’ve got to weather a severe tropical storm or hurricane in your RV or at a campground, here are some precautions you can take to just try to keep your loved ones and your property safe.
The biggest threats are wind, flooding and lightning. Here in Florida, we are the lightning capital of the world, and so lightning is a very real threat, however, if you are in any type of covered dwelling, and especially if there are trees around, a direct lightning strike is highly unlikely.
Flooding can be a major concern, especially during a tropical storm when rain is sustained for days and days and the ground is already saturated. The best way to prevent any damage to your RV or camping equipment from flooding is to be PROACTIVE. Make sure your site is on high ground, and create channels for water to flow PAST your site if necessary. Even if you can create a small area where your vehicle and gear are safe from flooding, that will get you through the worst of the storm.
High winds are a very real danger for campers especially in heavily wooded areas. If you can get to a solid structure, that’s the best plan of action to keep everyone safe. If you’re concerned about vehicles and equipment, secure as much as you can either in a vehicle, RV or building, and move out from under trees where limbs can break in heavy winds.
Maintain current CPR certification and a well-stocked first-aid kit. If there is a natural disaster that affects power and causes road blockage, knowing how to handle a medical emergency may be the difference between life and death for someone in the campground with you.
Most campers and RVers are well prepared to live “off the grid” for a few days, but if you’re anticipating that you may run into bad weather during your travels, having a few extra canned goods, some sternos for cooking, and a solar water bag or other water purification system on hand is a good idea.
RV living and traveling isn’t always easy, and it isn’t always pleasant, but with a little forethought and keeping some basic first-aid and disaster supplies on hand can make unexpected (or expected) difficulties a little more bearable.