September is often known as the peak of the hurricane season, and 2017 gave proof of that when three of the season’s biggest storms hit the east coast in the same month. While New Jersey and Pennsylvania aren’t as vulnerable as Florida or Louisiana, our area can still be in the line of fire and has seen numerous disasters in the past. Therefore, its residents must prepare themselves for the worst.
A large portion of deaths from hurricanes occur in motor vehicles, whether it is before or after the storm. While it is understandable that many citizens would want to rush to escape the city or head back home after the storm dissipates, they must be careful not to act too rashly in order to avoid potentially fatal accidents. You need to be aware of the hazards that lie on the road during and after the storm.
Drowning from excessive flooding makes up a high percentage of deaths as many residents are unfortunately caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. In 2016, 78 percent of the victims that drowned from Hurricane Matthew died in their cars. Citizens must pay attention to the news and the outside conditions to determine when it is safe to go out. If you have no choice but to drive in these conditions, try your best to avoid roads that have large quantities of water that can damage your vehicle or carry it into an even more dangerous area.
High winds, lightning and flood waters can damage the pavement and structures nearby and will hinder your ability to get to your destination. These factors can crack pavement, cause trees to fall down, push around larger parked vehicles, or tear down power lines in your path. These danger can still exist when the storm dissipates, so pay attention to any risky streets or blocked paths so you can take a safer, alternate route to your home.
Streets can be chaotic during a hurricane as everyone else has the same survival goals as you. The storm can cause panic and causes others to make negligent decisions that can result in serious motor vehicle accidents. The surrounding conditions only make it worse, as it can cause even the safest of drivers to skid on the streets. Be aware of what is going on around you, especially others’ driving habits.
While New Jersey and Pennsylvania aren’t as suseptible to hurricanes as other areas may be, they can happen, and it is important to practice safe habits when and if these disasters occur.