Bad weather can expose RVers to
dangerous conditions that can cause
personal injury and damage to their RV.
|Safety Tip: Are you carrying flashlights, spare batteries,
cell phone and charger, first aid kit, safety triangles,
campground directories, road atlas or maps, credit cards,
and an emergency phone contact list?
|All original content Copyright © 2009 by Alan and Barbara Lidstone. All Rights Reserved.
All other trademarks and brands are the property of their respective owners.
RVers can monitor environmental and weather-related situations on local TV and radio stations, the TV
Weather Channel and the Internet. For those using computers, we recommend you add the NOAA
website to your web browser Favorites list to obtain current status and information on hurricanes and
bad weather situations. In addition to the local radio stations, both XM and Sirius satellite radio provide
traffic and weather information for selected geographic areas.
RVers with access to the Internet can easily retrieve up-to-date information about all types of weather
and environmental events anywhere in the country.
We recommend the National Weather Service website for the information you need to know about
hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires and fire warnings, flooding conditions, including flash floods, river
floods, and coastal flooding, small craft advisories, and much more.
Most RVers realize that hurricanes wreak most of their damage along the nation’s coastlines from Texas
to New England from June through November each year. It is important to remember that tornadoes and
flooding effects from hurricanes and tropical storms can reach far inland, easily reaching into the
Appalachian Mountains Valley, north Georgia, western South Carolina and North Carolina, and
Tennessee. RVers and people in a swath from Oklahoma, through the entire mid-west, to the east coast
from Florida to Pennsylvania have to be on the lookout for tornado warnings for a good part of every
Speaking of Hurricanes… - RVers interested in tracking hurricanes on their desktop or notebook
computers can download the shareware GenCode Technologies Windows-based Tracking the Eye.NET
computer software from http://hurricanesoftware.com/download.aspx. The program provides hurricane
tracking using data and satellite imagery downloaded from weather databases on the web.
The free download will work after it is installed, and the developer requests an initial payment of $35 for
the first 12 months of access to the Internet storm data, along with a
follow-on annual fee of $20/year after the first year. If you don’t have access to the Internet, GenCode
Technologies provides hurricane information via cell phone for cell phones that support the wireless web
and have wireless web access. The website for current tropical storm and hurricane information is wap.
hurricanesoftware.com (See display image on right).
Caught on the Road during Bad Weather - If you are RVing during bad weather periods, we recommend
you consider the following suggestions to stay current on weather events:
- Carry an emergency radio with the 7 NOAA weather channels and keep the radio on while driving.
We recommend selecting an emergency radio that can run on 12-volt DC power, 120-volt-AC power,
batteries, and hand-crank generator for maximum availability inside and outside of the RV. (See
Emergency Radio article on page 18).
- Only stay at RV resorts and campgrounds that have TV cable service that includes the Weather
Channel (satellite service might not be available because of trees or heavy clouds).
- Carry a cell phone and charger, road atlas and maps, flashlights, batteries, campground directory,
and rain gear (ponchos, umbrellas, coats, etc.).
- Carry a laptop computer that can connect to the Internet (both Wi-FI and modem), with DeLorme
Streets Atlas or Microsoft Streets and Trips mapping and trip routing software installed and GPS unit.
- Consider selecting a wireless mobile phone that allows you to download and check the weather (you
will probably need the zip code for the area you want to check)
- If you travel in hilly areas with a computer, consider installing DeLorme Topo USA 6.0 which provides
both mapping and trip routing functions, along with topographical maps showing the terrain in a 3-d
- Make sure you have plenty of fuel, water, and propane in the event you wind up in a dry-camping
Call 9-1-1 if you are caught in dangerous conditions on the open road. Tell Emergency Service In the RV Resort - If you anticipate or expect bad weather while in a campground or RV resort, ask the
where you are and request their assistance to get to the closest safe place or shelter. Many cell
phones can provide automatic GPS positioning assistance when calling 9-1-1 to assist authorities
in determining your location.
staff about the location of any nearby shelters for RVers and evacuation routes out of the campground
We also recommend the following for all RVers:
- Do not set up an RV site in canyons or next to creek or stream beds subject to flash flooding. If you
can see nearby hills all around you, you may be in a potential flood area.
- Make sure you know at least two ways out of your RV site in the event of downed trees, downed
electrical lines, or flooding.
- Leave your NOAA emergency radio turned on and set to sound the alarm for severe weather
If you anticipate severe weather, stay in campgrounds and RV resorts with cable-TV for access to the
Weather Channel (even if you have a satellite dish).
RVers needing AA batteries, may want check out the great batteries.com savings >>>
It is also important to carry adequate maps and a good road atlas to find alternate routes. If you travel
with a computer, we strongly recommend a good mapping and routing computer program such as
DeLorme Street Atlas, and a GPS device to track and determine your actual location.
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|Tornado Damage in Missouri
Photo - Courtesy of FEMA
|Hurricane Damage in Pensacola, FL
Photo - Courtesy of FEMA