Thursday, November 02, 2006

How do you stay out of flood and CO trouble?

In continuation to my previous post , just pasting some of the tips The Hindu daily had given to escape from CO(Corbon Monoxide) trouble.

■ For a start, if you’re stuck in a car when the road is flooding, or in a traffic
jam, keep your windows down — at least a crack. This will let fresh air in,
preventing a high buildup of CO in the cabin.

■ See that your car’s aircon system is set to ’ventilate’ mode, as most car
manuals recommend — this brings in additional fresh

■ Turn the engine off if you can, and if the situation looks difficult, explore the
possibility of parking your car and retrieving it another day.

■ If your car is equipped with power windows and central locking —particularly an aftermarket fitment — see that your windows are kept open. It’s rare, but your car’s
electrical system can short out with rising floodwaters.

Additionally, even if the central locking system functions, you might not be
able to open the doors simply due to the pressure of the water outside.

■ Carry a hammer with a pointed end or an ice pick in the car — if you have to
break a window open, it’s only such a sharp, heavy tool that can attack modern
laminated glass. And if you don’t have one of these about, use the jack handle, if

■ Finally, if you feel any of the symptoms of CO poisoning outlined in this
report, take it seriously
—get out, get as much fresh air as possible, and go to a physician.

Irony of Fate!

I think almost everyday we keep reading about some or the other disasters and deaths in the daily newspaper..some accidents, or some murders, or some suicides, or some natural calamities, or some sudden fire and so many more like this. Though many of these incidents suprise us a lot, we also feel most of the times like 'It could have been avoided, if the victim/govt/public would have acted in a timely manner'

But one of the incidents that happened recently in Chennai during the recent Cyclone was really shocking and very very ironical. It reflects such a helpless situation, because the victims never knew that they needed help!!!

Three software engineers were travelling by a car during the heavy cyclone 2 days back. Because of heavy watter logging and traffic jam the car had to stop on the road for some hours. They were sitting inside the car with the shutters closed and A/C running in recirculate mode. Now obviously anyone would keep the shutters closed to escape from the heavy rain. But then these shutters brought only disaster to them.
Because of some water entering the engine, corbon monoxide was formed in the car (a colorless, odourless and tasteless gas). As th gas was odourless and colorless, they never knew that this is filling the space around them and they never raised any alarm for help :(
Human blood has great affinity to corbon monoxide, and hence sucks all the corbon monoxide around it and thus the blood becomes thick. This leads to instant death either due to brain damage or heart attack. And this is what happened to all the three software engineers too!!

Anyone buys car, so that he can sit in an enclosed place and a safe zone to protect himself and his family from the adverse weather. But then who would have thought what they think is a safe zone is actually a death zone!!

But then this raises an alarm for all cab users, and i think it becomes very important to understand how things function inside a car.
The Hindu had given a checklist of things to consider.
The sad details of this incident and the details can be found
My sincere condolences to their families and friends!

This reminded me of one of the school time stories of how a snake enters a fruit and goes inside the highly protected and enclosed palace of King Takshak who thinks he is well protected inside, and kills him inside itself. Sometimes fate is too ironical and makes fun of us!