Should I Stay in My RV During a Hurricane?

A Hurricane is Coming!  A Hurricane is Coming!

It’s hurricane season, and Florida currently has a Category 4 Storm on the horizon.  All of our fulltimimg RV groups are going bananas over the question “should I evacuate during the hurricane?” I get it.  Gas isn’t cheap, you just pulled into Florida ahead of the snowbirds and you don’t want to leave already.  I completely understand.  But it’s time to go! Seriously, go away!

As a Florida native, I am going to let you know that a direct hurricane hit (especially a Category 4 Hurricane) is not something you want to stick around to see, AND the aftermath is always far worse than the storm itself. If you decide to stay, you can look forward to no electricity, down trees, washed out roadways, no gas, no water, and no showers for 1 to 3 weeks — that’s if you make it through the actual hurricane to endure the aftermath.

Understand This: Hurricane Katrina was a

Category 3 storm at landfall!

In 2016, Hurricane Matthew skirted the coast of Florida; SKIRTED THE COAST as a Category 5 storm.  Much of our beloved A1A was washed away afterwards.  We were out of power for nearly two weeks and my kids got to try their first MRE thanks to the National Guard (thank you National Guard!).  The storm came and left within two days, but in the aftermath: 100 year old oak trees were laying on the ground for days, power lines snapped and dangling, there was NO GAS anywhere, AND worse was the gas shortage in the entire state causing the out-of-state power trucks and workers to be delayed.

The following photos are from the 2016 storm: Florida A1A Hurricane Damage

FL Hurricane Tree Damage

First time trying an MRE

What Should I do if I can’t Afford to Leave?

If you absolutely cannot evacuate, please take shelter outside of your motorhome.  If you have friends or family with a home away from flood areas, or can take refuge at a nearby shelter, please do it.  DO NOT stay inside of your RV during a hurricane.  We don’t even stay in our motorhome during tornado watch either.  We seek shelter in the Activity Center or camp bathhouse. Inland locations are always better than coastal regions. Read A Florida Mom’s Guide to Hurricane Preparedness for additional tips.

How Can I Prepare My RV for a Hurricane?

First, call your insurance company.  Do not assume you have adequate coverage, especially if you are not a Florida resident with an insurance policy in Florida.

Secondly, move your camper away from trees if you can.  I’m sure the campground you are at is going to empty out a lot! Move to a space that has the least amount of trees; next to the bathhouse or recreation building is a great choice as the building will help deflect the wind and provide you with a little protection (I am using that term loosely).

Third, make sure your awnings and garage bays are locked. Cover windows with cardboard and blankets to prevent superficial scratches and cracks. Tarp your roof if water is a concern. Afterwards consider additional reinforcements by using a storage cover, such as the one below.  Covers are available for all makes, models, and RV sizes. If you order immediately, your cover will arrive from Amazon before the hurricane is expected to arrive.

I hope we have helped you make the right decision for you and your family.  Stay safe!

Hurricane Tips for Florida Travelers and Fulltimers

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