Many have seen the tragic footage from Oklahoma after tornadoes struck the Oklahoma City area repeatedly, and it is images such as these that can make even the most carefree driver wonder what natural disasters they should be concerned about while on the road. Here are the three most common natural disasters in California and what you can do to protect yourself and your vehicle if you are ever caught in their path.
Be Prepared for Natural Disaster – Mitigate Possible Damages
In the movies, earthquakes tear roads apart and leave gaping holes into which car after car falls in. In the real world however, the most common vehicle damage from earthquakes is caused by destruction from above; trees, utility poles, power lines, even entire structures that can collapse on top of your car when the Earth shakes. These overhead structures can be extremely dangerous, especially if you are in a car when one comes crashing to the ground. And needless to say, it can easily total your vehicle.
If you happen to be driving when an earthquake strikes, pull over, making sure to stay clear of anything that might fall on your car, and turn on the emergency radio broadcast. Once the shaking stops, step out and check the area before driving away
Flooding is one of the most common disasters across the country and can happen almost anywhere there may be water and a place for it to collect. Even areas not prone to flooding can be subject to flash floods during heavy rainfall. If you find yourself caught in rising waters, never try to drive through a flooded street because your car may stall, and it only takes one foot of water to float most cars and two feet of rushing water to wash most cars away. Instead, drive to the highest ground you can reach, and listen to emergency service radio for updates and emergency messages.
If your car does become flooded, it is likely to be totaled. In addition to destroying sensitive electronics that are not easy to replace, floodwater can be contaminated with chemicals and other elements that can soak into the upholstery and carpeting of the car potentially making it a health risk.
Finally, there are the all-too-common wildfires. The absolute worst place to be during a wildfire is inside your car. If you are able to get warning of a fire, use the time you have to flee or to go to a shelter. If there is no warning and you are able keep driving, do so, but go slowly, put on your four way flashers and headlights, and press the horn regularly to alert people and animals that may also be fleeing.
The radiant heat of wildfires, in addition to being potentially fatal, will essentially destroy your car from the inside out. Typically, vehicles that are caught in the path of a wildfire will be rendered a total loss.
Disasters from an Insurance Perspective
The best way to gain peace of mind when the worst strikes is to have comprehensive insurance on your car. Comprehensive insurance will cover natural disasters and other unlikely, but possible, events that may cause damage to your car. Be sure to speak to your agent about specific disasters you have concerns about and what coverage you have on your policy.
Auto Insurance Specialists can help. We have decades of experience keeping California drivers covered, and our experts can help you find the best deals on comprehensive insurance coverage. Get the coverage you need with AIS today.
The information in this article was obtained from various sources. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. The information is not intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. Nor is it intended to effect coverage under any policy. Auto Insurance Specialists, LLC makes no guarantees of results from use of this information. We assume no liability in connection with the information nor the suggestions made.