Unlike most, if not all countries, the Philippines experiences more than its fair share of typhoons every year, with an average of of eight to nine tropical storms making landfall in the country each year according to Time.com.
Before, the Philippines usually prepared for torrential rains and deluges from June up to August–what is generally considered as the rainy season of the country. And in what may seem as the effects of the worsening global warming and pollution worldwide, the Philippines now experiences rain showers and flash floods all year round.
With that, safeguarding our well-loved automobiles has become a necessity. Others start with non-life insurance that extends up to force majeure or “Acts of God” coverage. But while it’s a good idea to have our cars insured, wouldn’t it be better if we could just keep them safe and dry?
Pro-actively, entrepreneur Paul dela Fuente said that he does not want to experience the hassle of filing a lot of documents before getting the amount he needs to repair or acquire a new one vehicle. For him, it is simple: he just wants to keep the vehicle he bought.
With that, dela Fuente decided to create a bag huge enough to drive his car in to keep it safe, secured and afloat should they experience flooding. From that idea, he created Flood Guard–a patented product by PCDLF Trading.
Dela Fuente and his wife Marion started working and developing the product in November 2016 and according to him, they have been working full-time, day in and day out to make it effective, in addition to patenting and testing it.
The decision to make Flood Guard started when dela Fuente owned a Toyota 86 and he wanted to make sure that it would be safe from flooding.
“I always have nightmares of it being caught up by flood every time the rainy season comes. I kept on looking for something like this product in the market, but I never found one that responds fast and provides the products at the quality I was expecting it to be,” he said.
It was in searching for the right product that led dela Fuente to sell his beloved sports car to raise funding for the development of the product, and eventually, his business.
“To reduce the risk of the item floating away, we have specially-designed four anchor points that the owner can attach to any stable structure such as posts, stable trees or poles. For added protection, foam paddings are included to cushion from collision with walls and stable structures. All these features are unique to Flood Guard which you will not find in any other product in the market,” he said.
Asked if they have tested the product, dela Fuente said that though he has not yet tried it during an actual typhoon, it has saved their current car, a Nissan Juke, from rising water levels.
“I was so confident that my product works, that I used my own car for testing,” he claimed.
Similar but Different
Admitting that he is aware of other similar products in the market, he said that the major difference with them is that Flood Guard products are readily available in the market.
“Though there are other products that use the same concept, to be honest, to date, we are the only one that’s readily available and easy to access in the market. We are unique because the materials used for our products are more durable than those used by our competitors. The design of the bag makes it easier to use as well. Additional features such as anchors to keep the bag in place during flood and paddings which resembles a bump car’s rubber bumpers is unique to our product,” dela Fuente explained.
He also said that they filed the patent for their product last year, believing that it was “such a simple and awesome idea that we thought of patenting it early even before we started producing.”
While further developing their product, he said that they are slowly increasing their sales as more people are becoming aware of the product.
“At the same time, we are close to getting a partner company that will help us with distribution and marketing of the products. We are very excited to help more people save money, their cars and their time by the help of Flood Guard,” he said.
Flood Guard is currently available in two sizes: medium and large, which are priced at P9,900 and P13,000, respectively. Knowing that their product does not come cheap, he offers a seven-day product exchange warranty for those who need a bigger or smaller sized Flood Guard.
“We also have a repair warranty on Flood Guard from damage as well, subject to terms and conditions,” dela Fuente added.
Aside from that, they are also now developing a flood bag for motorcycles. “While we made Flood Guard – Car Bags, there were already a lot of queries for motorcycles. We just couldn’t ignore it, we knew that people needed it so we are working double time to provide that too,” he explained.