Following Cyclone Amphan, that devastated India’s eastern coast last month, Cyclone Nisarga is all set to hit the country’s western coast with the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) issuing a red alert for Mumbai and its suburban districts.
Along with Maharashtra, Gujarat is also likely to bear the brunt of the cyclone. Therefore, it’s crucial to take adequate protection measures to ensure the safety of your loved ones and belongings, including your vehicle.
This article aims to highlight some effective ways through which you can guard your vehicle against a natural calamity like the one we have on our hands now. Let’s get started.
Park your vehicle in covered parking
This is the simplest way through which you can protect your car during a natural calamity. Doing so protects your vehicle from getting damaged due to winds or flooding to a great extent. If you don’t have covered parking, park it near a strong structure that can resist strong winds.
Also, if you need to park your vehicle outside, take a close look at the surroundings. Avoid parking near trees and power lines as strong winds can easily uproot them, causing intensive damage to your vehicle. If at all you need to park outside, do so in an open area without trees and power lines in the vicinity.
Keep your vehicle covered
During a natural disaster, with high wind speeds, sharp objects and debris can easily break the windshield of your vehicle and damage internal accessories. In such a scenario, it’s vital to keep your vehicle covered. Also, internal electric wiring may get corroded due to water getting into your car.
However, things can be different if you keep it covered. It’s better if the cover is made of water-resistant material. Make sure the cover is strong enough so as not to get carried away by the strong winds.
Get off the road when visibility is bad
If you get caught in a natural disaster while driving, it’s better to get off the road. That’s because chances of accidents go up manifold with a drop in visibility. Therefore, in such a situation, it’s vital to get off the driving seat and take your vehicle to the nearest safe location.
Also, turn off the vehicle’s engine and turn on the emergency hazard lights. These lights serve as a signal to other drivers that you aren’t driving, and that your car is stationary.
Don’t try starting the engine if your vehicle is submerged
This is one mistake that can cause significant damage to your vehicle. If it’s submerged underwater, don’t try to crank or push-start the engine. If enough water has already seeped into the engine, trying to start it could result in hydro-locking.
Hydro-locking happens when the engine fails owing to the presence of water – in large volumes – in the car’s cylinders. The engine is designed to compress air-fuel mixture but not water. Doing so can harm the engine, damaging it permanently beyond repair. Therefore, if your vehicle needs repair, it’s better to get it towed away.
Avoid driving in water-logged areas
After a natural calamity, it can take several days for the water to recede. It is in your best interest to avoid driving in water-logged areas as mud and debris can damage your vehicle.
Also, avoid areas where the water height is above the centre of the tyre. This is because it increases the chances of seepage into the engine. In fact, it is better not to drive for a few days until the situation is under control.
Once the natural calamity is over, inspect your vehicle for the damages caused. Also, dry up interiors to prevent the growth of molds. In case of significant losses, get in touch with your insurer to initiate the claims process. Stay safe, be vigilant!