Whether you are out on a camping trip in your RV or you have made it your home, you need to keep yourself safe in case of severe weather disturbances. It is quite natural that you might face tornadoes, hailstorms, sandstorms, etc., depending on where you are RVing.
You would not want your camping trip to turn into a disastrous one. So, be prepared to deal with severe weather conditions.
Here are some tips you must follow during severe weather:
- Take Personal Responsibility
You are mainly responsible for your safety. The actions you take, will decide whether you will be safe during severe calamities or have to face adversities. It is extremely important that you react timely to such weather threats. This will help you save your life as well as others’ lives who might be helping you at that time to reach to safety. Use common sense and do not stay back with your belongings thinking you can save them.
You must make an emergency plan prior to any extreme weather change. This will help you to act quickly if the condition gets out of hand. The first thing to do when you arrive at a new location is to search for the closest storm shelter. Find out any evacuation spot if you go to areas prone to floods, hurricanes and tornadoes. If there is no campground owner, you can find out this information from the local police station.
- Heed Lightning
Lightning can be equally dangerous as tornadoes and hurricanes. If you get any indication of an imminent storm, it is advisable to move indoors as soon as possible. You will be safer inside your RV or any building when lightning strikes. If you are inside any vehicle, make sure you do not touch any exposed metal.
Thunder is what gives you the indication of a dangerous storm. Anytime you hear the clap of thunder, be ready for a lightning strike. In most of the areas, especially in the west, rain doesn’t accompany thunderstorms. Don’t wait for the storm to get closer till you go indoors. It is better to put away everything which might get blown away and get inside your RV.
Lightning is the cause for many wildfires. So, if you are camping or RVing in an area susceptible to wildfires, it is better to have an evacuation plan ready in case of an impending storm.
It is best to move away from the area before the storm arrives in case you are in a fire-prone zone. You can move back again after the storm passes.
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- Seek Prior Shelter
Before things get bad with the storm it is good to seek shelter. You can get inside a public storm shelter. If there is no such specified shelter, it is best to take protection under a building made of concrete. Try to increase the barrier between you and the exterior of the building. If you take refuge in a large span building like gas station, grocery store, etc. it is better to take protection in a walk-in metal cooler.
If you are driving and do not find any strong building near your current location where you can take shelter, do not hide under any overpass. Contrary to popular belief, it is actually more dangerous as you could get hurt with flying debris. It is better to stay in your RV with your seatbelt on and your head below window levels. Cover your head with your hands or a blanket.
If you see any culvert or ditch, you can also lie down flat with your hands covering your head. If you don’t have any other options only then you must use this as a last resort.
Have an emergency bag with valuable documents, medicines, valuables, food and water in your RV at times of emergency.
- Beware of Flash Floods
These floods really occur in a flash and you won’t get time to move your RV. Keep yourself updated about any flood warnings and be prepared to get yourself to a higher ground level.
If you hear news about any impending flood, do not move through water which is higher than your ankles. 6 inches of water flowing rapidly has the power to knock you down. The water may also be contaminated or you could hurt yourself with sharp or poisonous objects.
If you are in your RV and see a flooded road ahead, it is better to move away in another direction. Water less than 2 feet can stall your RV and you have to get stuck inside.
During or after flood, it is best to boil water before drinking or cooking as the water might get contaminated.
- Watch Straight-Line Winds
Straight lines might not be linked to tornadoes but they flow at a speed of over 125 mph causing severe damage during a thunderstorm. These winds are caused due to a microburst or downburst that happens in a region of increasingly descending air.
Parked RVs can be damaged with winds which are above 50 mph. If your RV’s awning and slides are out, chances of damage are high. When parking your RV, keep in mind that the front or back of your RV should face the wind.
With straight-line winds, you can face another danger while you are driving your RV. You will face dust storms which decrease the visibility, road or airborne debris and also other motorists. Make plans of driving after you check the weather forecasts and know about the wind speeds.
Apart from these tips, you need to have proper weather tools to keep you informed about the upcoming weather. You don’t have to rely on just the weather news. Also having one weather app won’t do you any good. Keep yourself equipped with a few weather apps that will notify you in case of any weather warning. You can have a safe camping and RVing even in severe weather conditions with these helpful tips in hand.
What about you? Have you faced any such adverse weather condition while on a camping trip or while RVing? Share your experiences with us in the comments below.