Extreme weather of any kind is no joke, especially tornadoes, and especially when you’re out in your motorhome or travel trailer! No one wants crummy weather to spoil their vacation, but we know that bad weather can pop up unexpectedly and do real damage, so it’s best to follow the 3 P’s:
It’s smart to look at the extended forecast for the route and locations you’re planning to visit. Put a weather app on your smartphone, to make it easier to keep an eye on the weather patterns and forecasts. Sign up for weather alerts to be sent to your phone for faster notifications. Find a local radio station for weather updates, or check out the NOAA or National Weather Service websites.
Weather watches and warnings are usually issued by the county, so make sure you know your location. Having a GPS to pinpoint your exact location is wise, especially if you’re roughing it off the beaten path. If you’re parked at a campground, make sure you know where the closest shelter house or cement bathhouse is located. Ask the park attendant about their emergency weather protocol.
Never leave home without your emergency kit! Stock the cupboard with water, and food that doesn’t need electricity to prepare, in case the power goes out. Make sure you have a basic first aid kit, a flashlight, and spare batteries. A weather radio can really come in handy, and some have a flashlight and a cell phone charging station built in! Keeping your phone charged can be a lifesaver!
If you are in your RV, and a tornado watch has been issued, make a plan for evacuation. If you have the time to leave the area, those wheels are made for traveling! If a tornado warning has been issued, do not stay in your camper. Get underground, if possible. Head to a strong shelter or cement bathhouse. Get to an interior room, and stay put until the danger has passed. If you are driving down the road, do not stay in your RV. Pull off the road safely, get into a ditch or culvert, curl into a ball and cover your head. Underpasses tend to become wind tunnels in a tornado, so do not seek shelter under them.
Planning ahead and being prepared includes talking with your RV insurance agent, making sure your policy covers storm-related damages.