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RVing in Hurricane Season - The Basics

It has been said to everything there is a season. Hurricane season is considered between the beginning of June until mid to late November and should be of some concern to RVers.

The hurricane zone of the United States is considered to be all the states that border the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean coastal states, and coastal Canadian provinces as well. Damage caused by Category 3s and bigger can reach much further inland than just coastal areas.

This wind speed is not how fast the hurricane moves forward along its path, but rather the speed of the wind as it revolves around the center or eye.

The eye of a hurricane can be many miles wide ...10 to 150 for example... with a period of calm, sunny weather amid terrible winds. Initially the winds come from one direction. The calm of the eye is then experienced before the ferocious winds strike again from the other direction.

Here are some bits of information that may help RVers in understanding hurricanes and in planning survival preparations.

  • Hurricanes don’t appear without warning as tornadoes sometimes do.
  • Hurricanes slowly develop from tropical depressions into tropical storms before becoming named hurricanes. The process takes days, sometimes weeks. By the time they are named they are being followed closely by weather media.
  • As they develop they grow in size. Average is 200 to 400 miles across. The big ones grow to 550 or more miles wide.
  • Hurricanes move forward slowly along their way which is not a straight line. They have been known to twist and turn and double back or go in a loop.
  • Some Hurricanes carry huge quantities of rain while others transport very little water.
  • A danger of hurricanes comes from flying debris picked up by the winds and thrown or dropped with great force.
  • Tornadoes are frequently spawned by hurricanes which tends to be a reason why hurricanes cause so much widespread damage
  • What should RVrers do? Above all, use common sense and remain calm.
  • Planning and preparation is where you start. As an RVer you are already a step ahead in getting ready for a hurricane.
  • Evacuation is the key to safely surviving a hurricane and your RV gives you a great advantage.
  • Don’t wait too long and chance being stalled in heavy traffic with unprepared, last minute evacuees. As soon as you know a hurricane is likely to come your way load up your RV and head out.
  • It may actually take days to reach a safe destination. The path of the storm may change requiring you to change directions so stay informed as you travel.
  • Full time RVers will probably have many of the supplies needed to live for several days or more. Part time RVers should check the contents of their rigs in preparation for the season.
  • Keep your fuel tank and propane tank topped off because there will be long lines at gas stations when the evacuation rush is on.
  • Even if you’re among the first to evacuate you may find full RV parks and campgrounds. Lay in supplies as though you are going off to boondock somewhere for a week. Take extra water.
  • Don’t forget plenty of batteries and a portable radio with a weather channel. Replenish your first aid kit, check on prescription medications. Make sure you have clothes and supplies for babies, youngsters, pets and yourself. Keep cell phones and two way radios charged. Keep everyone in your family, or group, informed of plans.
  • If for whatever reason you find that it is too late for an evacuation and the hurricane is on track to hit your location here are a few suggestions of what to do in what little time there is.
  • Move the RV out of reach of trees that can fall on it. Park close to a building on the opposite side from which the wind will hit. Face the RV with the front into the oncoming wind. Second choice would be the back into the wind. Keep in mind that wind direction will change as the hurricane moves through the area. If you have access to city or RV park drinking water, fill as many containers as you can. Go inside, latch doors, close vents, cover windows and keep a portable radio with a weather channel with you to hear constant weather updates.
  • By the time a hurricane is named you should be following it’s location and be pretty well prepared.Get more information at the following webpages.


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