What Houston’s Flooded Houses Taught Us About Preparation

What Houston’s Flooded Houses Taught Us

It’s been about a year now since Hurricane Harvey totally devastated Houston.

And now we’re seeing Hurricane Florence basically do the same thing to the Carolinas on the east coast.

Flooding is becoming more and more common in areas that least expect it, or at least haven’t had flooded in recent years.

As the climate changes, one thing is for sure…

We are going to see more storms that come with fury, and we’re going to have to start learning to adapt with it.

How To Prepare For A Storm

For most of us that are in hurricane states, we know the drill.

Once the season is upon us, it’s time to stock up on non-perishables and bottles of water.

But now, with flooding becoming more rampant, it’s time to start thinking about alternatives as well.

Having a plan, should your home take on water, is immensely important before it actually comes to be.

There are some things that you can stock up on to help, too, like lots of charged batteries, flash lights, inflatable rafts, and camping gear that can be easy to get to and use should you need to evacuate, including a bag of things.

These things will help get you and your family out of the house or at least sustain until help arrives.

And once you do get out, chances are you’ll be at a shelter, where supplies are limited, and you’ll be glad to have the essentials in your pre-packed bags.

For some homes, there are ways to try and barricade around it, including sand bags or these nifty inventions.

If you are able to stay in your home, expect to not have power for a length of time.

Generators with extra cans of gas are going to be really useful in times like this, since gas will be scarce and you’ll need quite a bit of it for your generators.

Of course, you’ll want to ration and use your fuel when needed, like for the middle of the hottest days.

What To Do If Your Home Does Flood

It’s entirely possible that you take on some water, and if you do, you need to know what are the next steps.

In most cases, you can see the water level start to creep up.

If that’s the case, you should go ahead and prepare to turn off the power breakers.

This is to ensure that if water gets into the house there are no live lines making the water dangerous to step in.

If you aren’t able to do that in time, then be sure to try not stepping in water as much as possible.

You never know when lines can be live, even if the power went out before the water came in, you never know when the power can flicker back on periodically.

With electrocution prevention in mind, the next steps are to start making the necessary moves to evacuate or get to higher ground.

If you can get out of the area safely and get to a shelter, that is best, but if you’re unable to do that then the best thing to do would be to get to higher ground and try to raise awareness with others that you are still there.

Once the flooding starts to recede, whether you’re in the home or return to it later, now the clean up begins.

The most important thing about post-flood procedure is to remove any moist items and dry off the floors and walls as quickly as possible.

The longer the water stays, the worse the mold can get, and that can continue to raise repair costs over time.

Remove any rugs and carpets, and try to get blowers to dry out the moisture in the walls up to the water line and any wood flooring.

Once you’re able to get a specialist to come check it out, you will know if you need to start cutting out sheet rock.

Generally, you want to cut a few inches above the water line and remove all sheet rock to the ground, continue drying the frame until it’s clear, and remove flooring that isn’t dry or has already started to buckle.

You really don’t want that water to sit and start soaking, like other homes have done for months after Harvey, to the point where the sides of the house were bowing and the home needed to be torn down and rebuilt.

If you get to a point where you’re unable to get the remediation or repairs done, and you don’t have any insurance to cover the costs, it’s time to start looking at alternatives.

One alternative might be to try and sell the house in its current condition and move on to something else.

This can often be the best option in cases where the houses sat with the moisture for far too long to be inhabitable safely.

Talk to an attorney, agents, and home buyers alike to start learning your options.

Thanks to Express Home Buyer Houston (https://expresshoustonhomebuyer.com) for providing the information in the article.

They’ve been working with home owners that have dealt with floods from Harvey as well as floods from earlier this summer, and they want to warn you that quickly handling your home’s moisture problem can be the easiest and best way to prevent it from getting worse to the point where you’re no longer able to stay in it.

Check out this video on handling moisture in your home to learn more about what you can do to save your home and its possessions: