The Importance of Preparing for the Aftermath of a Flood

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The Importance of Preparing for the Aftermath of a Flood

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We spend a lot of time and effort to prepare ourselves for flooding, but the biggest disruptions tend to emerge as waters begin to recede.  It can be weeks, or even months before clean up and recovery efforts bring back some semblance of normalcy to the affected area.  Let’s take a look at why it’s important to consider the medium and long-term impact of flooding so you can address these concerns in your preparedness efforts.

Clean Up is Exhausting

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Even a minor flood that does minimal damage can leave behind debris that is difficult to remove.  Mud and dirt will need to be shoveled and scraped away.  Rocks and branches will need to be removed and roads will need to be prepped for repair.  Floors, walls and windows will need to be pulled out, and landscaping will need to be reset.  Power systems, wiring, appliances and machines will most likely need to be dismantled and replaced. 

Expect to spend days having to manually dig, heave, hammer and haul just to uncover the extent of the damage and start thinking about repairs.  This is back-breaking and time-consuming work that a lot of people are not prepared to undertake. 

Everything is Put On-Hold

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Your workplace may be closed due to the flooding.  Maybe you can’t go to work because you have to clean up or you become displaced.  Schools will be closed, deliveries to stores will be disrupted.  The grid will need to be repaired.  All of these things take time, and they will prevent us from enjoying the conveniences of modern life that we take for granted.  How will you really handle these disruptions? 

While you may have a plan to get you through the first few days following a flood, are you ready to fend for yourself for weeks or longer without access to food, power, water or money?  Can you afford to front the cost of materials and repairs until insurance companies reimburse you?  Are you able to make a lot of these repairs yourself?  These are just a few things to keep in mind as you think about how you will cope and adapt.

Relocation is Never Easy

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Being forced to relocate is a distinct possibility following a flood.  Just ask victims of Hurricane Sandy or Katrina who are still trying to put their lives back together.  It takes money to find a new place to live.  It may take time to find a new job.  You will need to replenish every day, ordinary items that you couldn’t salvage.  It’s important to prepare for the worst so that you’ll be in position to deal with all kinds of unexpected, little obstacles that will come your way.  Expect to need more time than you originally thought to get back on your feet, so try to plan accordingly.

Take time to consider these and other disruptions that are common following a flood, and start coming up with plans that will address them.  The more prepared you are now will make it a lot easier to get back on your feet later, and you’re going to need all the help that you can get.