Surviving a severe storm
Safety tips you need to know
THE world’s weather patterns are changing. According to the National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA) models, 2016 is on course to be the hottest year on record and locally, South Africa experienced its driest year in 2015 since records began.
In January this year, a severe hailstorm hit Johannesburg South causing the roof of a shopping mall to collapse.
More recently, on 20 October, Bloemfontein was also severely affected by a hailstorm that did extensive damage to both properties and vehicles.
While these freak storms are not an everyday occurrence, damage caused by hailstorms and severe weather tends to increase around the summer season.
Below are some useful tips on how to play it safe in a storm and minimise the damage to your home and your car:
Avoid driving in hailstorms If you are caught in a hailstorm, pull into an undercover parking lot as soon as possible to limit the amount of hailstorm exposure to your vehicle.
Take note of the storm warnings that are sent by insurers. If possible, don’t drive when there is a threat of hail.
During a hailstorm Stay inside the building or seek shelter if you are outside. If you are driving, pull over and seek shelter, preferably under a concrete shelter or even in a garage forecourt, and wait out the storm. Avoid seeking shelter under a tree as tree limbs could fall on your car, causing serious damage and possible injury to you (not to mention a lightning strike on the tree).
Keep a safe distance Rainy and wet conditions usually result in a deterioration of the condition of the roads we use. Particularly in wet weather, make sure you increase your following distance to more than the prescribed equivalent length of three cars, while decreasing your speed.
Keep your headlights on This will increase your visibility and the visibility of your car to other drivers. If necessary use your hazard lights to warn cars behind you should you need to stop suddenly. — All4women
There are a few things you can do to ease the pressure on your wallet and your tank.