STORM DAMAGE & YOUR CAR
How to protect your car from storm damageSummer’s here and that means Storm Season! Living in Queensland means we get some of the most beautiful weather, but those hot days can bring with them severe storms, large hail and flooding. So, how can we keep ourselves safe and protect our cars from storm damage?
- Ultimately, placing your car in a garage or car port is the best possible scenario, although this is not always possible.
- Ensure the area around where your car is regularly parked is clear of debris, such as low hanging branches, TV ariels or anything that can be picked up by a strong wind, such as kid’s outside toys.
If caught in a storm while on the road, beat storm damage by;
- Turn on your lights to increase visibility to other drivers.
- If visibility is poor, pull over to the side of the road if it is safe to do so.
- Find shelter. Safe shelter could include a shopping centre covered car park, under a bridge or a service station awning. Never park under trees; strong winds can drop branches or uproot trees which can then fall on your vehicle.
- If you cannot park undercover, park next to a building on the opposite side that the wind is blowing. A large building can protect your car, as strong winds may blow hail past your car.
- If there is a risk of flooding; don’t park in underground carparks that are prone to flooding or near bodies of water.
- If its flooded; forget it! Not only is it dangerous, even a small amount of water can sweep vehicles away, stall your engine, affect your electrical system and wiring, and could lead to serious damage to your engine.
- If your area is prone to hail, consider a hail cover for your car, or hail insurance with your insurance provider. Practise placing your Hail Cover on before a storm strikes! You don’t want to be struggling when time is of the essence.
- If you don’t have a Hail Cover- improvise! If you’re at home you could use an old heavy blanket or doona. If you’re out and about, use what you have on hand, such as the picnic rug in the boot. If you don’t have a large covering, try and at least protect your windscreen. Use the car’s floor mats or windscreen shade cover. You can still drive with hail damage to the paintwork, but you cannot drive safely with a shattered windscreen!
- Most importantly, be prepared! Get into the habit of checking the BOM (Bureau of Meteorology) website or app regularly for warnings (especially if the sky starts to look a bit ominous). If you know a storm is coming; consider delaying or re-scheduling your trip. Don’t try to ‘beat it’ by rushing and putting yourself and others at risk.