If you notice it has been raining more frequently, you are not dreaming! As the rainy season has arrived, Malaysia will be inundated by monsoon rains. In this article, we will go through the steps you can take to reduce the chances of being caught in one and how to escape if you are.
The most important thing anyone can do during this time is to be ready. Should a flood come you will have all the items you need to not only survive but make enduring a flooding event comfortable and even pleasant. Be sure to have food, water, cash and other essential items in your car.
Read more: 10 essential rainy season items for your car
Watch the news
The news is a good way to stay informed of current events. This includes before a downpour and when a flood is ongoing. By keeping up to date with the weather you can avoid going out before it rains to avoid floods and traffic. If you have to leave the house, check Public Info Banjir for flood warnings beforehand so you can plan around the floods.
Read more: 7 tips to drive safely in the rain
How to drive through a flooded area
It is advised to avoid driving through a flooded road. But if you must do so, follow these steps.
Check the waterline
Flood waters can be deceptively deep. Check the waterline on nearby objects like trees, dividers, or even other cars. Use this method to identify the highest point of the road and ascertain if the water reaches the base of your car. If it reaches the base of your car, do not drive through the water.
Turn off your air conditioning
Your air conditioning unit is the lowest part of your engine. By turning it off, you protect it from damage. You also get extra power to give your car the power to drive through the water.
Switch to low gear
You may be told you need to use low gear when going uphill. That is true! If you have waded through water in a swimming pool, river, or sea, you may have noticed you need to put in more effort to move. The same reasoning applies to cars as the power from low gear to climb up slopes is crucial to wade through flood waters.
When driving through floodwater, moving slowly is important for two reasons: impact and water damage. If you move at a high enough speed, hitting the water will be like hitting a brick wall. Driving slowly will prevent water from damaging your car due to the initial impact of hitting the water and the constant force needed to push it aside.
Do not restart your engine
If your car engine dies, do not restart your engine. Water has entered your engine and created a hydrostatic lock where none of the pistons can move. If you try to restart your engine, irreparable damage could be done. Instead, take all your valuables and the essential items earlier, and follow the next tip.
What to do when unable to drive out
If you are trapped by deep water on both sides, call 999 for help. If the floodwaters are rising, you will not be able to overcome the force keeping the doors closed.
Instead, take deep breaths before the car fills up with water. When the cabin is fully submerged, external and internal pressure will equalise and you can open the door. If the flood water is neither receding nor rising, use both legs to push your car door open. Once out of the car, head towards the closest high and dry place.
Get to higher ground
If you are surrounded by water, head for the highest point you can reach. It can be a hill, a pedestrian bridge, or even a multistory car park. Once safe, inform the authorities of your location and wait for rescue. When help arrives, remain calm and follow the directions of the rescue team.
Stay above the water
Should you be swept away by water, point your feet downstream and grab onto any floating objects. If you run into any obstacles, climb over them and never try to swim under them. Swimming under floating objects may result in you being pushed under or trapped where you could drown.
By following these steps, you will be better prepared to deal with a flood should it come your way. In the meantime, stay safe and dry!