Both shock and confusion loomed over my small town the day the 2011 flood hit. I remember being very relieved that the flood had not affected my house. Then a devastating realization hit me. My best friend and her family lived in a house dangerously close to one of the town’s major rivers. I immediately contacted my friend (who was at college during this time) to get updated on her family. They had been safely evacuated to a local high school.
This was just the beginning, however. Most of their belongings were completely soiled. Some of their most prizes possessions had even floated right out of the house and disappeared in among the heavy amount of debris. My friend lost all her formal dresses and her brother’s numerous gadgets were destroyed. Their entire life had sunk to the bottom of a river in the matter of just a few hours.
The thing with natural disasters is that they are never biased. You could be fresh out of college with a business diploma or some rundown homeless person on the street. It doesn’t matter. A natural disaster can affect you all the same. But it doesn’t have to ruin you. Cleaning up after a flood is going to be hard work but, if you follow these simple tips, can go quite smoothly.
My first tip is common sense but is so completely essential that it should never go unnoticed. Accept help from others. This is great for you but also extremely beneficial to your loved ones. Seeing you going through hardship is going to be hard on them. They need to feel like they are doing something positive for you.
When it comes to the cleanup process, there are a few things you need to consider. First thing’s first: you have to strike up a conversation with your insurance agent. They will guide you through all the legal matters. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s slap on some gloves and boots and get messy. Before you go into your house, be extremely cautious as the structure could be damaged severely. Once you have (safely) made it inside, assess what items are damaged or lost. Write all this information down as it will help with your insurance claim later on. After getting a general inventory, start cleaning by throwing out all the wet stuff first. This will help prevent mold. Then tackle the rest of the house. If you followed the first tip, this process will be a lot faster and a lot more fun.
Don’t let a flood become your downfall. Don’t let it knock you to the ground. And don’t, for heaven’s sake, let it win. You can overcome this. Just take it one step at a time and be willing to lean on your friends throughout the whole journey.