On August 28th, meteorologists spotted an ominous tropical storm. Within four days, this frightful weather cell grew into a Category Five hurricane and tore through the Bahamas. Then, Hurricane Dorian slowed down to a near standstill before shredding along the east coast.
But during that frightful first week, truckers didn’t ignore the call. They jumped into action. Let’s take a look at how truckers helped prepare the East Coast for Hurricane Dorian.
Fuel Goes Fast
The destructive power of a hurricane can be devastating enough to shut an entire state down. This can be due to power outages, damaged or blocked roads, or a complete loss of infrastructure. And any combination of those three can make it impossible for supplies to reach the citizens trying to recover.
Knowing this catastrophe could happen, Desiree Freeman hopped in her tanker and got to work. She visited gas stations and topped off their tanks way before schedule. Citizens are most likely to drain local gas tanks in an emergency, so this was a huge help.
Freeman estimated approximately 4,000 gallons of gas and 3,000 gallons of diesel were delivered.
People Have to Eat
In addition to fuel, a great deal of food and water must be gathered during an emergency. And since stores often close when a storm is approaching, there is no time to delay when collecting supplies. Due to this type of chaotic event, mass shopping panic occurs, and locals can completely empty a grocery store of its entire stock.
Fortunately, truckers get the same kind of preemptive warning that stores do. Fleets of reefers and dry vans were sent out ahead of the storm. Among the cargo hauled, perishables and other hurricane staples, such as batteries, arrived well before the stores closed.
Truckers were a crucial aspect to getting needed supplies to areas in the path of the hurricane.
When is it Too Late?
If your next route has you deliver supplies in advance of a storm, there are ways to go about ensuring your safety and prepping for getting stuck in the storm yourself. First and foremost, if you know you are heading into an area under a state of emergency, pack gear accordingly.
This means batteries, flashlights, gallon jugs of water, and loads of nutrient filled non-perishables. It’s best to have these items just in case you get stranded in an area where all the stores are closed and road access is blocked.
Stay on top of news updates to increase your odds of getting out of the area before the hurricane hits. If you are caught in the actual hurricane, be safe. Determine which direction the wind is blowing the strongest.
Then, park your truck near a sturdy building, so the establishment takes the brunt of the wind power rather than your semi. Do your best to adjust according to how the storm develops and remain calm.
Once the eye of the hurricane reaches your area things will calm down. At that time, if you are near an interstate that will help you get away fast, it may seem like an ideal option.
However, it is important to remember that debris may block your path or cause you to get stuck. So be sure to weigh the pros and cons before trying to leave.