CHARLOTTE, N.C. (July 23, 2019) – Much of Central North Carolina and the surrounding areas are under severe storm warnings throughout Tuesday, July 23 and AAA Carolinas wants motorists to drive with extra caution and be prepared for a potential storm on their evening commutes.
If you encounter heavy rain and flooded roads:
•Be seen, 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.There is a high chance of hail due to the severity of the storms.
If you encounter hail, AAA Carolinas recommends:
Immediately seek shelter if you’re stuck in a hailstorm. If you’re in a building, stay away from windows and stay inside until the hail stops. If you’re outside, head for the nearest sturdy structure. If no shelter is available, try to find something to protect your head. Avoid seeking shelter under trees, where high winds and rain can cause limbs to fall to the ground.
If you’re in your car when a hailstorm hits and see a safe place close-by, such as a highway overpass or garage, drive to it as soon as you can. If no shelter is available, stop driving and pull off the road completely. Move away from car windows and cover your head with your arms and hands to protect yourself from any breaking glass.
Protect your car
Make sure you have the right insurance coverage – hail damage is part of comprehensive coverage, which covers physical damage to your vehicle not caused by a collision. Park your car in a covered spot whenever possible, especially if you live in an area prone to hail.
AAA Tips on Auto Insurance Claims:
• Car owners should contact their insurance company to determine the extent of coverage before seeking repairs.
• Take photographs of any visible damage.
• Any vehicle sustaining flood damage should be fully inspected before being allowed back on the road. Mechanical components, computer systems, engine, transmission, axles, brake system and fuel system impacted by water contamination may render the vehicle unfit to drive and in many cases vehicles sustaining significant water damage will be determined to be a total loss.
• Physical damage to a car caused by heavy wind, flooding, or fallen tree limbs is covered under the optional comprehensive portion of an auto policy.
• If your car is damaged by a fallen tree or limbs, you would need to file a claim using your vehicle policy’s comprehensive coverage.
• Collision coverage pays for damage to your car resulting from a collision with another car, object or as a result of flipping over.
AAA Tips on Homeowners Insurance Claims:
• The first step to recovery is inspecting your home for damage and then notifying your insurance company as soon as possible.
• Prepare an inventory and take photographs of damaged property.
• Store undamaged property in a protected place if possible.
• If carpet is soaked, remove the carpet and the carpet pad. Keep a two-foot square piece for the claims adjuster.
• Look for hazards such as broken or leaking gas lines, flooded electrical circuits, submerged furnaces or electrical appliances and damaged sewage systems.
• Proceed with extreme caution as you inspect your basement. There may be hazards from electrical lines and heating units. If your basement has flooded, do not pump it out all at once. Remove about one-third of the water per day. The wet ground surrounding your basement may cause the floors to buckle and the walls to collapse.
• Remove contaminated materials from the home. Be aware of exposure to mold.
• Carpeting, mattresses and upholstered furniture should be disposed of or cleaned and disinfected by a professional cleaner.
• Cover broken windows and other holes to prevent further damage.
• Test drywall for moisture softness. If soft, cut holes at base to help dry out.
• If possible run AC, dehumidifier and fans constantly.
• If power is out, disconnect all computers and appliances from electrical sources.
• Open cabinet doors and elevate furniture allowing air to circulate.
• Save wet books or photo albums by putting them on edge in a frost free freezer.
• Be present when the adjuster inspects your damage.
AAA Carolinas, an affiliate of the American Automobile Association, is a not-for-profit organization that serves more than 2.2 million members and the public with travel, automobile, and insurance services while being an advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.