Knowing what to do after a flood and trying to get back to normal can seem overwhelming. I hope the ten suggestions below are helpful and that you and your family stay safe.
The past week has been a challenging one for Texas. From Sinton to Louisiana, and all points in between. Much attention has been paid to Houston because it is so large but realize that almost the entire coast has been affected.
The Houston area is near and dear to my heart because I was born there and grew up in League City. My parents, brother, sister, and their families live there. Plus two of my husband’s sisters live in the area. One a few blocks from my sister. Then there are most of my friends and those who have become family over the years. All have come through the storm safely. I am grateful for that.
Not everyone was so lucky and there are so many people who are displaced that it can be overwhelming. One of the great things about Texas is how we all pull together in a crisis to help and give freely of ourselves to our neighbors. Hope doesn’t lie in our elected officials. It comes from God and it lies within us.
Many have criticized the response, but fail to realize how much there is to do and how long the devastation will continue to impact the lives of those who are in the middle of the chaos that was Hurricane Harvey. Things will get better. It will just take a while. Give them some slack and give each other time to heal.
I remember sitting through hurricanes (plural) and my parents’ house getting flooded each time. Pulling up carpet, setting out fans, coping with the massive amounts of mosquitos that show up and swarm everywhere. I live in Harlingen, Texas now but I know what you are going through and how difficult it can be.
Having said that, soon people will be returning to their homes and here are a few things that, I hope, will help in some small way.
What to do after a flood #1
Before you go, make sure that the area where your home is located is actually safe. Check in with the local authorities. I know it’s your home and you are anxious to return, but please be careful!
What to do After a Flood #2
Go during the day when you can see much easier. There might be snakes, rats, alligators, or other wildlife taking refuge there. Plus, you don’t really know how much damage there is yet.
What to do after a flood #3
Make a list of what needs to be done and in what order. Prioritize tasks. This simple task will keep things in perspective and keep you on track during the midst of overwhelm and stress.
What to do After a flood #4
See if your neighbors need help or if you can pull together to get things done. Knowing that you’re not alone in this can ease your mind a little.
What to do After a Flood #5
Let go of anything that came into contact with flood water that might make you sick. Food, makeup, and medicine are things that need to be replaced. You don’t know what was in the water that could be harmful to and your family.
What to do After a Flood #6
Plastic furniture can be cleaned. Furniture made of MDF is ruined after contact with water. The rest will depend on how much water there was in your home and how long it sat there. Get someone to help you make the determination. Which brings us to number seven…
What to do After a Flood #7
if you’re feeling totally overwhelmed and stressed, ask for help. Remember that people are much more important than things. That includes you.
What to do After a Flood #8
Contact your insurance company and take pictures of everything before you start clearing things out. The insurance adjuster needs to see it.
What to do After a Flood #9
Take your time before making any big decisions. Give yourself the space in which to think. If it all feels like too much, take yourself and your family out of the situation even if it’s only for an hour or two. It’s okay to take a break.
What to do after a Flood #10
When finding someone to help you rebuild, do some research on them before hiring. They should have a track record of successful projects and liability insurance. Serious businesses have insurance. Unfortunately, there are those who will use this time to try to take advantage of you. Please educate yourself.
Everyone’s situation is different and reactions to a disaster may vary from person to person. Take care of yourself and your family. Pets to! “Home” can be anywhere as long as you are safe and surrounded by the people you love and care about.
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