The greater Cincinnati area is well known for its unpredictable weather.
The thunderstorms with heavy rain and tornado risk can make driving hazardous. Navigating the elements takes great caution and preparedness, no matter if you’re pulling out of a lot with a new car or driving home after work.
There are some basic equipment and techniques you should consider if you’re ever faced with a potentially dangerous storm on the roads in the greater Cincinnati area.
Driving in bad weather
Always check weather reports before heading out, especially if it looks like a storm is coming. Thunderstorms and torrential downpours are part of the Cincinnati driving experience. When that giant grey cloud formation turns into a driving rain that makes it difficult to see, The Weather Channel urges drivers to “pull safely onto the shoulder” of the road away from any trees that could fall on the vehicle.” It’s better to be safe than sorry. Stay in your car and put the flashing hazard lights on to indicate to anyone behind you that you’ve stopped on the shoulder.
FEMA adds that an automobile “provides better insulation against lightning than being in the open.” If there is a tornado warning, however, driving is never a safe option. If you can help it, never venture out during an active tornado warning. The safest place is underground. If you do happen to be driving when there is a tornado risk, Fox 19 suggests immediately going to a nearby building and waiting on the lowest level. Tornadoes change direction quickly and a sturdy building is the safest place to wait until the danger passes..
Preparation is crucial
It’s never too soon to start thinking about driving safety in bad weather. Traffic safety experts recommend you avoid driving while you’re tired in general, but perhaps even more so in the winter when a slight moment of delay could leave you sliding off the road.
Be smart and make sure the windshield fluid full, to charge the battery, and check the tire pressure regularly. And know where you are going in order to anticipate where roads might flood or high water may stop travel all together.
Get your home in order
Double check your sump pump and make sure it’s in good working order. Not sure- dump a bucket of water into the well and the pump should run.
Batteries, flashlights and food stash in case power is lost. Knowing the safe spot in your house in case of a tornado. Easily accessible list of emergency numbers in case your property is damaged and you need to contact insurance company or contractors.
Cincinnati storms are classic Midwestern issues — ice and snow in the winter, tornado risks in the spring and thunderstorms in the summer. If you can remember these basic safety tips, it’s smooth driving the rest of the year.
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