As Hurricane Dorian begins crawling towards Florida's coast, automakers are doing their part to help. GM announced today that they will offer free OnStar Crisis Assist services to all owners of properly equipped Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles who live in the impacted region. The connected car platform can help those fleeing disasters with real-time directions, free calls, routing to shelter, food and water, providing an in-vehicle WiFi hot spot, booking hotel rooms and more.
If you own a GM vehicle that is a 2006 model or newer, it's likely it has OnStar hardware installed. Car owners who no longer pay for OnStar can still access the service for free during the hurricane. Advisors will be available to assist 24/7.
GM isn't the only automaker providing natural disaster support. Tesla is helping those impacted by Hurricane Dorian by offering free Supercharging, enabling Powerwall's "storm watch" feature and enabling more range on some vehicles. Electrek noted that owners of a Powerwall -- Tesla's lithium ion battery -- who were in Dorian's path noticed that storm watch mode had been activated. The special emergency mode automatically charges the Powerwall at full capacity so it can provide backup power.
The Category 3 hurricane is expected to get close to Florida's east coast by Tuesday evening and last through Wednesday. And local government and emergency services appear to be taking it seriously. "Hurricane Dorian is the strongest storm to ever threaten the state of Florida on the east coast," said Jared Moskowitz, director of Florida's Division of Emergency Management. "No matter what path this storm takes, our state will be impacted."