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What would you do?

I hate to say it but a motor home is not the safest vehicle and sometimes I think all of us lose sight of that to a degree. Even though our recreational vehicles have most of the comforts of home, they are certainly not constructed as substantially as a traditional stick house.

An RV constructed like most will perform horribly in a vehicle crash. They are not built like an

RV in South Florida 3/7/09

RV in South Florida 3/7/09

automobile with crumple zones and airbags. Most are just flimsy sheets of fiberglass on a metal frame. Here in Texas, right in the middle of Tornado Alley, my motor home is definitely not the place to be when the Weather Radio starts squawking! And of course, the most fearful event for any recreational vehicle owner is a fire. This horrific picture is from an incident in South Florida.  Luckily the occupants were not injured but the high dollar coach and Jeep toad were destroyed.  Our motor homes are really rolling incendiary bombs you know.  Fuel in the form of gas/diesel and propane, plenty of combustible materials on board and open construction which promote the spread of the flames is not a good scenario!

You know as I sit here writing this,  it just occurred to me that I have no water at this jobsite!  I have to transport it to the site in a 300 gallon tank and then use a transfer pump to fill my on board fresh water tank.  Holy cats!  If I had a fire out in the middle of these Piney Woods, I don’t even have a working water hose!  Obviously being in remote locations like I normally am, I have thought about catastrophic scenarios and tried to prepare in advance.   Let me discuss my disaster preparations.

I have a weather radio that I tune in to the closest broadcast station as soon as I arrive at a new location.  It is one of the more advanced ones that you can tune out the “annoying ” broadcasts and it just squawks when there is something important going on.  This time of year with the spring storms, I also locate the closest hidey hole in case I have to get out of the RV in the middle of the night at short notice.  Sometimes it a big drainage pipe and sometimes it is the closest bull dozer.  At 45 tons, I figure I would be reasonably safe underneath one.

I have fire extinguishers – lots of them.  There are 3 inside  the Fish Bus and one on each side in the storage compartments.  I also have 2 in my Suburban.  I check often to make sure they are charged.

I have 2 smoke alarms and a carbon monoxide detector along with the propane “sniffer” .  One smoke alarm and the carbon monoxide detector are in the bedroom.

I know where the emergency exit windows are in the Old Girl and I know how to pop them  out.

I always try to park in a cleared area when we are in heavily forested areas such as this one.  With a bevy of bull dozers availabe, this is an easy task.   Wildfires scare me.

I have upgraded RV Insurance just in case I do experience a catastrophic loss. Progressive Insurance has what they call a Full Timer’s Policy which increases the levels of coverage and covers contents at a higher level as well.

Unfortunately, I think true reality is that I could do little to prevent a fire from doing major damage and I am certainly powerless in the face of a tornado or destructive thunderstorm.  It all boils down to protecting your self and your loved ones.  If I can improve my chances to survive an event, everything else is just stuff and can be replaced!

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