Staying Safe in Severe Weather

Posted on March 11, 2015

Large tornado, black sky over dirt road in country

What if she didn’t have OnStar? For Jacqueline Teeters, the answer might have been that she’d be driving toward a tornado.

Instead, she avoided the worst of the storm and made it safely to a family party.

Jacqueline was traveling from Houston to Dallas when she noticed something different with her 2009 Chevy Silverado. “I thought something might be wrong so I pushed the OnStar button to find out where the nearest Chevy dealership was,” she says. “But when the Advisor checked my location, he told me to look out the window to my left. I saw some really dark clouds in the distance."

What Jacqueline didn't know when she pushed her OnStar button was that OnStar tracks severe weather. The OnStar Command Center is manned by a team dedicated to monitoring weather and crisis events1 at all times, 24 hours a day, according to Mary Ann Adams, OnStar crisis incident manager. The team receives several weeks of specialized emergency training and can access information from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

"The Advisor calmly told me that I was going to hit some pretty bad weather but that I should keep going and not stop," says Jacqueline.

OnStar Advisors have real-time access to weather information, so Jacqueline's Advisor knew that she would be able to avoid the worst of the storm if she kept driving in the direction she was headed.

Jacqueline says that within minutes, the black clouds got lower in the sky, sheets of rain started pouring down and the wind really whipped up. “All I wanted to do was pull over and take shelter under an overpass and wait out the storm. And that’s exactly what I would have done if it hadn’t been for the OnStar Advisor.

“The only reason I didn’t stop was because the OnStar Advisor had been insistent that I keep driving,” she says. “He told me if I kept going I would safely drive out of the storm. I kept driving and, after just a few miles, the sky started to lighten up and I knew I was going to be OK.”

Jacqueline arrived in Dallas safely for the party, and when she got up the next morning, she heard on the news that a tornado had touched down in the area where she had wanted to stop.

“That Advisor was fantastic,” says Jacqueline. “There’s no way I’d ever not have OnStar. It’s more than worth it.”

Did you know in severe weather, Members get full access to all OnStar services, including Navigation and Hands-Free Calling — no extra charge? Find out more about OnStar Crisis Assist.