Turn Around, Don’t Drown: A Retrospective of Flooding and Disaster Articles for Quick Lube Shops

It was just over a year ago that parts of Texas faced torrential downpours and massive flooding as a result of Hurricane Harvey. This month, Hurricane Florence dumped a very similar fate on parts of North Carolina.

As the flood waters recede in some places along the East coast, the waters continue to rise in others. Mudslides, flash flooding and other dangers remain for now, but recovery lingers in the not too distant future.

At the same time, fires have continued to be an issue across multiple states in the West, with 81 large fires as of September 19, 2018, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

In October, we will have a chance to catch up with some Texas quick lube shops to learn about their experience and see how they are doing. For the moment, let’s take a look back at some of the lessons we have learned that we can apply in North Carolina, the West and beyond.

Preparation

The February issue of NOLN was dedicated to disasters. From wildfires to hurricanes and other natural disasters, no one is immune. Articles such as The 2017 Disaster Season and the Automotive Aftermarket’s Road to Recovery, as well as Surviving a Natural (or Man-Made) Disaster: How to Prepare for and Bounce Back From a Crisis in Your Business, identified ways to prepare for disaster. There are physical and financial steps you can take to mitigate damages and downtime. Be sure to check them out.

While this lesson requires forethought, there’s never a better time than the present to prepare for the future.

Not Quite Business as Usual

In and around storm affected areas is the greatest need for extra careful inspection of vehicles, keeping in mind that many cars coming your way may have been inundated with water. However, it is not limited to the storm area. It can be expected that some flooded vehicles will be cleaned up and shipped to other areas to be sold. Vehicles near wildfires face their share of problems, as well.

Water: We Love It and Hate It and A Look Back on Useful Tech Tips are great resources to understand how vehicles components may be affected by these severe conditions and what needs to be done to best serve your customers. Technicians should be on the lookout for signs of water damage and/or heat damage as they service vehicles in the coming months.

There is Hope

During and after Hurricane Harvey, there was an abundance of tangible help and encouragement from all over. In the article Helping Hands Across the Industry Give Back, we highlighted shops and companies that pitched in to assist with relief efforts. But Harvey was not the only disaster the country faced, and those in our industry stepped up with each devastating event.

Even before Florence made landfall, Express Oil Change & Tire Engineers were already doing what they could to help evacuees get to safety by offering free tire patches and 20-point inspections to those in the path of the storm.

As giving as our industry has been known to be, we should expect to see several stories come out of this latest storm.