Hurricane Harvey, Irma, Jose, and more, oh my! It’s been quite the crazy hurricane season and we’re still smack dab in the middle of it. If you haven’t been affected by one of these monstrous storms, consider yourself lucky.
However, has a road veteran with hours of experience behind the wheel then you may know that it’s easy to find yourself stuck in inclement weather. Pop up storms, blizzards, tornado warnings, and more can strike, some without warning. When you start the day a few states away in an area with perfect weather it can be difficult to know what to expect along your route. Unfortunately, you can’t predict Mother Nature’s actions, but you can be prepared when she strikes.
How To Safely Truck Through Storms
No matter if you’re OTR or a local driver you should carry emergency items in your cab just in case you’re caught in an urgent situation where the tools could save your life. Also, if you find yourself stuck for a few hours or even a few days these items could make a major difference for your comfort level. So, what emergency items should you have?
It’s important to have some bottles of water and nonperishable food. Canned items and packages of crackers will do the trick, just don’t forget your can opener. A fork may come in handy as well.
Be sure to bring an extra change of clothes in case you’re stuck somewhere for a few days, and make sure the clothes fit the season. Pack an extra jacket and warmer clothes in the cooler months and clothes that you won’t overheat in during the summer. Always have a reflective vest to be visible to other drivers if you have to get out of your truck.
Since winter is coming up remember to have a hat that covers your ears, waterproof gloves, extra socks, and warm boots. Extra blankets are also great to have, including an electric one.
Waterproof gear is extremely important because you will be much happier if you can stay warm and dry. Plus, you don’t want to come into contact with flood water. Flood waters are contaminated with feces and chemicals, so if you have to get out of your truck you’ll want to be wearing stuff to keep that water off of you.
Other emergency items that are great to have include utility knives, flash lights, batteries, an extra phone battery or portable charger, a hand crank radio, matches or a lighter, a first aid kit, an auxiliary power unit to heat your cab without the engine running, a portable heater, and extra fuel.
To avoid being caught off guard in inclement weather pay attention to the weather forecasts. Know what to expect during your route and if bad weather is a factor reroute to avoid it or delay your trip until the storm passes.
If you find yourself in a pop-up storm with a tornado warning then slow down, turn your flashers on and find shelter. Pulling off to the side of the road is pretty dangerous when visibility is low, pull off as far as you can. Also, you should never stop under a bridge or overpass as they turn into wind tunnels and lots of debris pass through them. If you can’t find shelter park safely and lay in a ditch or low area.
When it’s snowing or raining heavily and you decide to keep driving at your own risk use tail light in front of you as a guide to follow to make sure you stay on the road. Also drive slowly, you don’t want to hit the person in front of you.
If you find yourself caught in a flash flood find high ground and if the road is flooded to risk driving through water. The current could over power your rig or you could get stranded. Turn around, don’t drown!
Stay Safe Out There
Winter is coming, along with it come hurricanes, storms, snow, and more! Be sure to be safe and prepared for whatever Mother Nature has in store for us this season. Know what weather to expect during your routes and have the right tools in your cab in the event of an emergency.
If you have more safety items to include or tips on how to drive a semi truck safely during inclement weather please share them in the comment section below. For more trucking blogs visit ExpressTruckTax.com.
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