With the biggest rain event coming to California since 1997, the 2015 version of El Nino is almost guaranteed to bring massive, scary (and if you’re an Angeleno driver, absolutely terrifying amounts of rain). While driving during this perfect storm will be harrowing and not recommended, there are a few things you shouldn’t leave behind. Here are our picks of must-have El Nino prep.
Probably a no-brainer, but you’re going to need windshield wipers. Before you buy a set, make sure you measure to see how big of a pair you’re packing. Once you’re sure, run down to almost any auto parts store for a huge selection of blades to choose from. Rain X Latitudes have been universally praised for their resilience and wiping ability when the storm’s a coming down.
All-season tires are junk. They’re not good at every thing; they’re just okay at some. For a deluge of rain, you’re going to want a tire with good tread depth and make sure you inflate them properly according to manufacturer specifications. Don’t think that just because it says ‘summer tire’ the weather needs to be 72-degrees with zero humidity to work correctly. These tires are good for temperatures ranging from 100-degree scorchers to near-freezing temps, and the experts with everything rubber; thetirerack.com recommends the Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position and the Michelin Pilot Super Sports as the go-to wet-weather wonders.
Throw this $10 lifesaver in your glove box or on your key ring and you’ll never even know it’s there unless your neck deep in raging flood waters. Once your doors and windows are submerged, you’re going to need more than testosterone to open them up thanks to water pressure working against you. The spring-loaded window punch works by compressing against the window and releasing a carbon point to shatter the window, cut a seat belt and hopefully keep you afloat.
A good flashlight can be a beacon, spotlight and a lifesaver. Go with something brighter than lightning and with more power like this ultra intensity torch, which can project a beam over two football fields. Even if you don’t need it during El Nino, it’s at least something to impress the step dad.
Remember in Jurassic Park when likeable bad guy Dennis Nedry (Newman) tried to book it from the park with dino DNA, got stuck in a mudslide and then eventually gets eaten by a Dilophosaurus? Well, before he became extinct, his Jeep’s winch was to be used to pull him out of the situation. Winches are designed to tow and extract all types of vehicles up to 16,000 pounds and more, and that’s just the beginning of their many uses. If you fear getting stuck, nothing will give you more security in a pinch than a winch!
On a serious note, if the weather is really as bad as theysay it’s going to be, you might be in your car for quite some time. With the combination of California’s notoriously bad traffic mixed with dry, water resistant terrain—that hasn’t seen substantial rain in months—mudslides, untold amounts of time spent in traffic and who-knows-what-other-unforeseen-events, it’s a safe bet to keep some provisions handy, especially if you’re outside a major city. Keep some water and packaged foods close, because it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Currently the full-time Editorial Director and Content Manager for RxSpeed.com, & contributing writer for Scout.com. He also loves photography, videography, his Shiba Inu Mia and driving sports cars.