We are back with more RV weather safety tips and this time we are focused on flooding. Floods happen can happen 300-3,000 times a year in the United States alone causing billions in damage, so it becomes important to know what to do if impending weather might produce flash flooding. As the saying goes, “the best offense is a good defense,” and this is especially true for this natural disaster.
Also, if you think because you are driving a large RV you can drive through water, think again. As little as 6 inches of water can carry a vehicle off the road.
Keep an eye on the weather. This is the most important thing to remember when you are using your RV. There are some helpful websites and apps that will notify you if inclement weather is approaching, such as The National Weather Service and Weather Underground. The nice thing about your RV is that if bad weather is coming you can drive somewhere else, away from the storm.
Know that you are going to be paying attention to the weather, and make sure you understand what all of it means:
- Outlook – bad weather is “possible” in the next week
- Advisory – bad weather will be occurring, imminent, or likely
- Watch – bad weather is going to happen, but the time and location are uncertain
- Warning – bad weather is happening and if you are in the path of the storm, you need to take cover
Read in more depth about the various weather terms at the National Weather Service.
Have an evacuation plan and go back ready. If you are unable to get to high ground before a storm is coming, make sure to have an evacuation plan in place. This includes having a jacket and closed-toe shoes ready (no flip-flops) and designating a meeting spot if members of your family were to get separated. When you enter a new campground make sure to set the meeting spot then, if they have a storm shelter always make that your spot.
Your go-back should include:
- Potable water (2 per person)
- Non-perishable snacks
- Battery-powered flashlights
- Weather radio
- First aid kit (See a full list of items for your first aid kit here)
- IDs and if you have important documents with you a waterproof bag to protect birth certificates or titles
Have extra games. Although it can suck when it rains when you are camping, having extra board games and card games help keep everyone in good spirits and the fun doesn’t have to stop. Make sure to have your weather radio on in the background so you can hear any updates if conditions worsen and you need to evacuate.
If on the road, pull off. Like we said at the beginning of this article, it doesn’t take much water on the road for your RV to be pulled off the road. The rule of thumb is if you are driving and it’s raining so hard you can’t see the middle line you need to pull off and wait out the storm. NEVER drive through standing water, even after the storm if there are puddles on the road you should try to wait if possible.
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