"Thanks to Heartland RVs for partnering with me for this post. All opinions expressed are my own."
Living in an RV can pose anxious moments in the event of inclement weather. Since we've been full-timing in 2014, we've had to evacuate our Heartland Landmark fifth wheel numerous times. We credit our military backgrounds for being prepared and knowing what to do in states of emergencies. As former lifesavers, it's been ingrained in our heads and we've preached 'Always have a Float Plan' to anyone headed out to sea. Likewise, when RVing or Camping, we strongly urge everyone to 'ALWAYS HAVE A PLAN OF ACTION'.
If you're a new(er) RVer or Camper, our best advice is anytime you get situated at your new site locate your closest storm shelter; always have an evacuation plan. When the weather radio or television stations post 'Watch' (i.e. Tornado Watch), it's a good idea to get your GO BAG ready, have jackets ready and put your shoes on (not flip flops!). When the local authorities post 'Warning' (i.e. Tornado Warning usually sirens will go off), it's best to relocate you and your pets to the closest storm shelter immediately.
Most importantly, get YOU AND YOUR FAMILY to a safe and sturdy shelter; preferably one that's been designated. At campgrounds and RV parks, there are usually bath houses and community rooms. Do not wait! It's better to be safe than sorry.
Weather can change as quick as your next breath, and if you're not aware of its changes, it can catch you and your family off guard if you're not prepared. As we've experienced many times, Mother Nature always wins.
First, let's talk about...
- Issued when hazardous weather event is 'possible' in the next week. Outlooks are intended to raise awareness of potential for significant weather that could threaten life or property.
- Issued when hazardous weather event will be occurring; imminent or likely. Advisories are for less serious conditions than warnings that cause significant inconvenience and if caution is not exercised, could threaten life or property.
- Issued when the risk of hazardous weather event has increased significantly, but it's occurrence, location or timing is still uncertain. A Watch means that hazardous weather is possible. You should have a plan of action in case a storm threatens. You should listen for information and possible warnings especially when planning travel or outdoor activities.
- Issued when a hazardous weather event is occurring, imminent or likely. A warning means weather conditions pose a threat to life or property. People in the path of the storm need to take protective action.
We are going to give you a step-by-step reference guide should you and your family be faced with weather emergencies.
If you have more than 24 hours notice of impending detrimental weather...
- Keep tuned into local weather forecast stations.
- Evaluate your surroundings immediately. Do not wait to do this.
- Relocate if you're near a river, ocean, washes or flash flood area. Seek higher ground.
- Pack your GO BAG (listed below).
- Have shoes and jackets readily available.
- Stow gear that's outside (i.e. camp chairs, tables, grill, fire pit, etc.)
- Let your family know where you are or where you are headed.
- Charge up all electronics and battery banks.
- Refuel vehicles.
- Withdraw money from an ATM.
- Pack extra water in your GO VEHICLE.
- Pack snacks or a lunch to go.
If you cannot relocate your RV or If you have less than 1 hour notice of
impending detrimental weather...
- KEEP CALM
- Know where the closest storm shelter is located and prepare to go.
- Keep tuned into local weather forecast stations.
- All members of your party should put sturdy shoes on. Skip the flip flops; you may return to debris fields or sites.
- Jackets should be readily available.
- GO BAG should be packed and at the door ready to go or in your vehicle.
- Portable kennels should be in your vehicle and leashes should be ready for your pets.
- Each should make quick bathroom visits.
- If you have time, secure outdoor gear.
- Walk your dog out for a potty break.
Let's say it here...
An RV or Camper is the worst place to be in a tornado, flood, or violent weather!
THIS IS WHY...
This is what we have in our Evacuation 'GO BAG':
- 4 bottles of water (2 for each of us)
- 2 bottles of water (1 for each cat)
- A ziploc bag of dry cat food
- Cat feeding bowls
- Cat harnesses and leashes
- Cat Carriers (cats will be in them)
- Granola bars, dried fruit and snacks
- Weather Radio
- Electronic Battery Banks & Cords for Cellphones (fully charged)
- Flashlight(s) (fresh batteries)
- Insurance policy info
- Jackets and/or Rain Coats
- Emergency Blanket(s)
- First Aid Kit
- Essential Oils
Additionally, we've already stressed this above, but we always have 2 gallons of water in our truck at all times. You can alter your GO BAG to fit yourself or your family accordingly (i.e. baby items, medical supplies, etc).
To wrap up this public service announcement, our point of this article is awareness and preparedness that you may endure during your RV travels. This isn't meant to frighten you or deter you from living your dream on the road; just a simple reminder to be ready to 'expect the unexpected'. You and your family's safety should be most important. Things can be replaced, people can't. Please be safe!