We are no a month into hurricane season, and the projections for 2019 are much higher and more severe than we initially thought. As truckers are busy hauling everything from livestock to produce, manufactured goods, construction supplies, and raw materials, we have put together a simple list to help keep everyone safe throughout hurricane season.
1. The hurricane isn’t always the worst part
As many people along the southern coast will tell you, the hurricane itself is a temporary storm. The winds are high and dangerous, but it’s the flooding afterward that causes most of the problems. Just a little over a month ago, we saw how floods in Missouri cause shipping routes to be cut off and diverted. Floods caused by hurricanes can shut down shipping lanes, and leave truckers stranded for days if they are caught in the vicinity of the storm’s aftermath.
2. Food and water
Many truckers keep emergency supplies in their cabs, and this is a good plan, no matter what season it is. However, for potentially severe weather conditions, you should keep enough supplies to last at least three days. A case of bottled water, peanut butter, jerky, tuna – whatever your preference – just make sure you have enough, because if you are cut off due to a hurricane in an area without electricity or mobile service, you can only rely on yourself until the roads are open again.
3. Time to hit the sporting goods store
Hurricane season means stocking up on ponchos, flares, wading boots, first-aid kits, and more. Even a small saw isn’t a bad idea, should you encounter downed branches. Wal-Mart or your favorite sporting goods store should have most of the supplies you will need, just in case you are in or near a hurricane.
4. Monitor the weather and Doppler systems
The NOAA site is a great resource for tracking hurricanes, but apps like WeatherUnderground can give you more accurate information about your immediate vicinity. Also, try to stay on top of road conditions and hazards so you can plan alternate routes during hurricane season.
5. Stay in touch
Keep a hand-crank charger in your truck to charge your phone and other devices. You need to stay in communication with your job, loved ones, and call for help if you need to. While phone and tablet batteries have improved greatly over the years, they still need to be recharged, and if you are stuck for more than a day, you need to be able to reach out to people.
Hurricane season may last longer than expected this year, but with the right preparation, we hope truckers will be able to avoid any danger from storms over the summer.
Be safe out there.