Mother Nature can be unpredictable. While we can’t control the weather, we can prepare and understand what to do if we’re caught in a storm or other severe weather event. Learn how to protect your family and your rig with these tips for RVing in a storm.
Understand Storm Warning Stages
Weather forecasters use different vocabulary based on a storm’s strength.
1. Outlook: hazardous weather is possible in the next week, so remain aware.
2. Watch: a potential storm’s location and timing are uncertain but begin taking safety precautions.
3. Warning: the storm is imminent, and now is the time to take protective action.
Check Local Weather Forecasts
Stay informed about the weather forecast and potential storms via your Weatheradio or internet-connected device. You can also set up alerts at weather.gc.ca and check the Weather Network, an essential camping app. Consider changing your destination or postponing travel if severe weather is in the forecast.
Plan an Evacuation Route
Prepare an escape plan with and without your RV in case stormy weather strikes unexpectedly. Review the campground’s map or talk to the manager or owner about possible evacuation routes and storm shelters. Then, share your plan with your travel companions and someone at home.
Clear Your RV Site
Trees provide much-needed summer shade, but loose branches can damage your RV. Remove unnecessary brush as soon as possible after you set up. Try to keep your campsite tidy by storing unused accessories like lawn chairs or toys.
Batten Down the Hatches
Secure your RV before a storm to protect your investment. Pull in the slides and awning, latch the windows, close the door, and fill the water tanks. Also, store projectiles like tables, grills and shade umbrellas.
Secure Children and Pets
Protect curious kids and skittish pets from harm and prepare them for a quick getaway. First, dress yourself and your children in sturdy, closed-toe shoes. Then, place pets in a cage or carrier with a comfort toy or blanket.
If you receive advance notice of a storm, find a safe place indoors to wait it out. Secure options include the basement of a sturdy building, a brick-built bathhouse or another interior room with no windows. You can also sit in the hallway of your RV and cover your head with a helmet, blanket or pillow.
Pack a Go Bag or Emergency Preparedness Kit
A go bag or emergency preparedness kit contains the essential items you can quickly grab if you must evacuate your campsite. Pack and customise a bag for each person and any pets. Your go bag might include first aid items, prescription medications, copies of legal documents, adequate food, water and clothing for several days, and battery-operated communication devices. Additional suggestions include cash, flashlights, extra fuel, and a portable power bank.
Prepare for Various Storms
Different weather conditions call for diverse preparations. Whether at the campsite or on the road, consider various precautions you can take when RVing in a storm.
Thunderstorms with strong winds:
1. Find shelter away from your RV.
2. If you have time before the storm strikes, park your rig inside or next to a sturdy structure and away from trees and other unsecured objects.
3. Follow extreme caution if you must drive in high winds.
1. Avoid low-lying campsites that might be former riverbeds.
2. Carefully watch water levels in nearby creeks or rivers and be ready to move to higher ground as soon as you notice significant changes.
3. Avoid driving on flooded roads that could carry your RV away or cause it to sink.
1. Take shelter in a secure location away from your RV.
2. As a last resort, lie flat in a ditch or other low-lying area and protect your head with your hands.
3. If you’re on the road, don’t try to outrun a funnel cloud and avoid parking under an overpass.
1. Prepare for strong winds by parking your RV indoors, if possible.
2. Then evacuate to a sturdy building.
3. You’ll usually have plenty of notice before a hurricane but plan multiple evacuation routes in case its path quickly changes.
Storms are part of life. Use these RVing tips to prepare for inclement weather. Then enjoy the open road with confidence, knowing you have a plan to protect your family, pets, and RV.