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Hurricane Irma is churning at Category 5 strength toward the U.S. mainland, though forecasters are still unclear how hard South Florida feel its impact. For those who plan on staying — or at least keeping their vehicle in place — here are some things to check before the storm.
- Before the hurricane hits, make sure you have documentation for your car. That includes registration and insurance documents, stored in a waterproof container like a zip-top plastic bag, but also photos of your car’s interior and exterior in the event you need to make an insurance claim for hurricane damage.
- Keep your gas tank topped off and make sure the battery is in good condition in case you need to evacuate. Gas pumps often need electricity and if a storm takes out power and backup generators, you won’t be able to refuel.
- If you can, find a safe garage and park your vehicle there. Look for a place that will protect your car from high winds or flooding. Avoid leaving your vehicle under power lines or trees that could be knocked down by stormy gusts. If a garage is not an option, seek out a building that can partially shelter your vehicle from high winds.
- Avoid driving if at all possible during and after the storm. If you must drive, exercise extreme caution. Avoid flooded roads at all costs and watch out for debris, downed power lines or weak bridges and roads.