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Steer clear of road trip danger zones

Heading out for a road trip? Regardless of what the weather is like at home, plan ahead to avoid being impacted by potential rough weather including flooding or wildfires on your route. Here are tips to keep your road trip out of the danger zone:

1. Do your research

  • Check trusted sources for natural disaster reports for your destination and travel routes. Some good ones are EmergencyInfoBC and Public Safety Canada.
  • When booking accommodations, check cancellation policies in case you need to make last-minute changes.

2. Plan ahead

  • Don’t wing it. Chart your route and make note of planned stops and overnight stays. Use travel planners like BCAA’s online travel tools which allow you to make customized maps and travel guides or use the BCAA app, to note gas stations, restaurants and lodging along your route.
  • At least two weeks before you leave, get your car properly serviced by an automotive professional to allow enough time for any repairs.

3. Prepare

  • Assemble a roadside emergency kit for your car, including a battery-operated mobile phone charger, a few light tools, non-perishable food and drinking water.
  • Set up your technology ahead of time:
    • Download any travel apps you’ll be using. Consider installing the BCAA app - it has an interactive map with information on gas stations, food, lodging and even scheduled roadwork.
    • Set your social media feeds, particularly Twitter, to follow appropriate emergency information resources for real time updates.
    • Calibrate your navigation system and program your trip into it. Take along an up-to-date printed map in case your navigation system malfunctions during your trip.

4. Check in…

  • A week before your trip, track the weather situation along your route and at your destination.
  • Check emergency information resources and road reports regularly.
  • Prepare to adjust your route if necessary. If possible, avoid travelling through or staying in areas with active weather events. In these areas, local hotels are often used to lodge residents evacuated from their homes.

For more details on how to prep for a stress-free road trip, check out our Road Trip Checklist.