The Atlantic hurricane season is officially here and hurricane experts are predicting a 60 percent chance of an above-normal season. That could look like up to 19 named storms, including up to six major hurricanes, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOOA).
Now is the time to prepare not only your home, but your vehicle. “As Americans focus their attention on a safe and healthy reopening of our country, it remains critically important that we also remember to make the necessary preparations for the upcoming hurricane season,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.
As people in South Florida and hurricane-prone areas prepare their homes by stocking with the basic supplies, many don’t think — or forget — about preparing their automobiles, should they need to evacuate. That’s a big mistake that could cost dearly.
“Having a maintained and ready-to-go vehicle can make all the difference in getting you to safety, should you need to evacuate during a hurricane,” said Erik R. Olsen, President and CEO of TBC Corporation, the parent company of national automotive maintenance and tire service centers Tire Kingdom Service Centers, NTB Tire & Service Centers, Midas and Big O Tires.
Tire Kingdom Service Centers has prepared a vehicle preparedness checklist for hurricane season:
- Make sure all fluids are topped off
- Install new windshield blades
- Have the battery tested
- Have the car inspected, including brakes, exhaust system, fuel and air filters, thermostat and lights
- Get a professional tire safety check that includes an inspection for air pressure, tread depth, irregular wear patterns, nails, cuts, punctures and other visible damage, and visible structural integrity issues
- Get an oil change if due or near due
“Consumer safety is of the utmost importance. With the unknown during any hurricane season, it is best to err on the side of caution and get vehicles prepared ahead of time for any unpredictable emergencies,” said Olsen. With more than 190 locations throughout Florida, Tire Kingdom offers consumers a free comprehensive tire care check and a free 22-point vehicle inspection, perfect for making sure your vehicle is ready for the long haul.