We were traveling I-30 when severe storms hit (AK). Fortunately we found a campground to overnight.

As we make our final preparations for our long haul back to the East coast we are wondering what kind of weather we are going to encounter. It appears storm season is already upon us with the recent outbreaks of tornadoes. Although RVs are self-contained, they were not designed to be used for shelter in any type of severe storm.

We rely on our weather alert radio to keep us posted of any storm watches and warnings in or near our current area. All Campers – even if you are just a Weekender  –  should have  a weather alert radio on-board.  A good one can be purchased for around thirty dollars.

If we are on the road at the time, we find a safe place to pull over. Welcome centers and rest areas are great places because most have concrete structures to take shelter in, as well as having security personnel on duty.

We have been in campgrounds during severe storms. Some campgrounds have restrooms or recreation buildings that can be used for shelter. Many have concrete buildings that would be a solid structure to go as in the case of a tornado. But if you have time and know that severe weather will effect your area, make sure you seek an official shelter.

This is especially true of areas effected by hurricanes and flooding. You should find where to seek shelter and what evacuation route  is the closest. We have been through several hurricanes and the scariest part has to be the severe storms and tornadoes generated by feeder bands.

If you have not given any thought  about what to do on-the-road or in a campground during a severe storm, take a few minutes to discuss it with your family. A brief discussion on emergency plans could end up saving your lives.

If the situation is severe and you are told to evacuate the area – you must go. If it is a volunteer evacuation or if you want to leave on your own accord with your RV, make sure you have adequate fuel and cash and that you these items handy:

  • Canned Foods (and can opener, if needed)
  • Potable Water
  • Flashlights
  • Batteries
  • Weather Alert Radio
  • Personal Information (i.e. insurance papers)
  • Cell Phone (and extra batteries and the charger)
  • Camera
  • Medicines Needed
  • First-Aid Kit
  • Laptop Computer
  • Overnight Bag (with clothing and toiletries)

The overnight bag may be needed if you find yourself stranded and are suddenly forced to leave your RV. If you have pets, keep a bag for them with food, treats, a favorite toy and any medicines they need.

If you are planning to return to the area after the storm has passed, remember to listen to updates regarding possible road closures. If a mandatory evacuation was issued, make sure it has been lifted and that you are allowed to return before you head back. Be mindful of authorities and do what they say! They know things about current conditions and the local area emergencies that you do not.

As you head out on the road this travel season, keep your eyes and ears on the weather conditions. Make sure you have a stocked storm kit and take a few moments to discuss emergency plans with your family. A little preparation can help you weather stormy travels.

The truck (yes, it's dirty!) after a winter storm (WA).

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