CHARLOTTE, N.C. (September 4, 2019) – With Hurricane Dorian expected to make landfall in the Carolinas, AAA Carolinas is offering tips and resources for motorists and homeowners to help ensure safety in the coming days.
“With state officials making mandatory evacuations across the Carolinas, we want to help everyone remain as safe as possible before, during and after Hurricane Dorian,” said Dave Parsons, President and CEO of AAA Carolinas. “Natural disasters can be unpredictable, but we want to arm Carolinians with the most information that is available to help ensure their safety.”
For travel advisories, roadside assistance delays or information about insurance claims, see our hurricane emergency page.
For tips on how to prep your home and family before a hurricane, refer to our earlier release.
During a Storm:
- Pay close attention to hurricane alerts. Know the difference between a hurricane watch (hurricane-type conditions are likely in your area) and a hurricane warning (a hurricane is expected within 24 hours).
- Evacuate if possible. Use the evacuation plan you’ve already prepared, leave early and during daylight hours.
- Stay calm.
- Remain indoors and away from windows. Do not use electrical outlets or appliances.
AAA Carolinas advises motorists to never drive in a hurricane or severe weather, but if it is necessary to do so to get to safety or to evacuate a dangerous area, adhere to the following tips:
- Do not drive in rainy weather and high winds if you don’t have to.
- Check your tires (including your spare) to make sure they have plenty of tread and are properly inflated.
- Make sure the windshield wipers are in good shape. The blades should completely clear the glass with each swipe. Replace any blade that leaves streaks or misses spots.
- Pack an emergency kit in your vehicle, which includes a flashlight with extra batteries; a first-aid kit; drinking water; mobile phone and car charger; extra snacks/food for your travelers and any pets; battery booster cables; and emergency flares or reflectors.
On the Road:
- To boost visibility, drive with your headlights on.
- Reduce your speed to account for the lower traction on wet roads and the destabilizing effects of high winds.
- To avoid a collision, keep enough open space around your vehicle. Drivers should extend their following distance to at least 5 or 6 seconds, and adjust speed to keep open space to at least one side of your vehicle at all times.
- If your vehicle starts to hydroplane, gently ease off the accelerator and continue to look and steer where you want to go. This will help the vehicle regain traction.
- Avoid driving through flooded areas, even if you are familiar with the roads. The flooded area may contain dangers such as debris, tree branches or power lines that are not visible. The best thing you can do is turn around and find an alternate route.
AAA Carolinas will continue to monitor Hurricane Dorian’s path in an effort to bring you the most accurate safety tips and information. When the storm subsides, we recommend proceeding with caution as there may be damage that isn’t visible.
After a Storm:
- Return home only after Emergency Management officials say it is okay.
- Keep in mind that flash flooding can occur and that roads and bridges may be damaged.
- To verify road conditions after a hurricane call: 511 in North Carolina and 888-877-9151 in South Carolina.
- Be aware of hazards relative to power lines, polluted water and the possibility of fire due to low water pressure.
- Expect damage assessment teams to do an extensive review of all areas and insurance representatives to be on the scene immediately following a hurricane to expedite the handling of claims. Notify your AAA insurance agent of any losses and leave word where you can be reached. Keep in mind that hardship cases are settled first, so please be patient.