Tips for Dealing with Flood Damage

Although we were spared from Hurricane Harvey, we know many who were not. I wrote this email to a friend who’s mom is overwhelmed with all that must be done when the rain and flooding finally stop. It is in NO WAY a comprehensive list, but it is a starting point. When my mom was flooded last year in the Tax Day Floods, it would have been nice to have a list like this to help us make a game plan so I’m passing it along in the hopes that it might help someone else too.


TIPS FOR DEALING WITH FLOOD DAMAGE

Top Priority
-Call your flood insurance (if you have it) and FEMA (the faster you get an agent, the faster you get your money to buy new stuff)
-Do not turn on electricity until it has been deemed safe by authorities or an electrician
-Once water recedes, open up the walls, rip out the insulation and put fans out to dry the house (this prevents mold growth)
-if carpeted, rip it out ASAP to prevent mold growth
-Do not attempt to start or plug in any appliances – they must be checked out by a professional
-TAKE PICTURES OF EVERYTHING BEFORE YOU THROW IT AWAY (insurance needs this)

Regular Tips
-Things that can’t be washed (like mattresses, rugs, couches, books, etc) or things that absorb water (like drywall and some wood depending on type and how long it was in the water) which have come into contact with flood water must be thrown out. Put them on the curb for heavy trash pick up. Take pictures!
-load up trash bags of clothes/fabric/pillows (anything that can be washed) and send them to friends and family to wash and dry. Using original Pine Sol and hot water in the washer disinfects the clothes.
-Tile floor can usually be cleaned with disinfectant and kept. My mom didn’t have hardwood, but I assume it would have to be removed as it absorbs water
-Make a pile of things that can be cleaned with disinfectant instead of thrown out (ex: pots & pans, plastics, etc – anything that doesn’t absorb water). Set up a disinfecting and drying station or send them with family & friends to be cleaned at their homes and then brought back
-If you decide to use a contractor to rebuild, choose carefully. There are a lot of scammers and half-assers out there. Ask for recommendations from friends and family.

Misc Tips
-This is a marathon, not a sprint. Take time to rest & recharge.
-There are Houston Flood Groups on Facebook that have advice, suggestions, recommendations, etc.
-Don’t be afraid to ask for help. My mom worked for two or three days with me and a handful of friends before she asked for help on Facebook. A huge church group of moms, dads, & teens showed up and finished demo-ing everything in one day – it would have taken us another week without their help.
-You cannot eat anything that grows in soil that has been flooded. You have to wait at least 6 months.

Mostly, stay strong and know that one day it will end and things will be back to normal. The pile on the curb of things that have to be thrown out will be huge, but it’s going to be ok. You will get through this.

Sending you lots of love,
Angelle

THE LOVE SERIES #9: Houston Love

If you’ve been living under a rock and don’t know by now, Houston and all of Southeast Texas and parts of Louisiana have been ravaged by Hurricane and then Tropical Storm Harvey. It has been a harrowing experience for many and the areas that were affected will be recovering for months if not years to come.

Amidst all the flooding, rain, and chaos, Houston and it’s surrounding areas as well as many across the nation have united to help those who have suffered the most during this record-breaking storm. As I watch the news and social media and see the stories of citizens and first responders saving and caring for one another, my heart breaks open again and again. I’ve essentially been crying for the past 4 days.

So this 9th installment of The Love Series goes out to Houston, it’s surrounding areas and all the citizens, civilians, officers, fire fighters and first responders who are spreading the love any way they can.

HOUSTON LOVE. #HoustonStrong © 2017. Angelle Conant. All Rights Reserved.

If you’d like to give a little love to Houston, there are many ways to do so. Here are just a few:
1. JJ Watt of the Houston Texans is raising money to get direct aid to the victims of Hurricane Harvey. You can donate HERE.
2. Over 160 police officers have had their homes flooded but have still been working. To help officers whose homes have been damaged, consider donating to Assist the Officer HERE.
3. Brene Brown, author, UH professor and all around badass, has suggested donating to Undies for Everyone on her Facebook page. It’s an often overlooked area. You can donate HERE.
4. Lastly, if you are here locally, consider volunteering your time, your washing machine (so much needs to be washed), or resources to shelters, neighbors, family and friends in need. So, essentially, keep doing what you’re doing Houston. #HoustonStrong

THE LOVE SERIES #10: Mama Love

This is the 9th installment of The Love Series and it’s a celebration of the love a mother feels for her child. I did this painting when I was pregnant with my daughter and in complete awe of how much love I felt for someone I hadn’t even seen with my own two eyes.

My love for her now is the same as it was then: powerful, fierce, and deep. Any person is capable of feeling this kind of love whether they are a biological parent, adoptive parent, step-parent, animal parent, grandparent, auntie, uncle, or friend. May we all know the joy of giving and receiving such a love.

Acrylic Paint on a tiny canvas. © 2017. Angelle Conant. All Rights Reserved.

P.S. This post happens to coincide with the e-book release of my new book of poetry – Hummingbird Heartbeat: Poems of Pregnancy and Beyond. You can find it on amazon.com for $3.99. It’s also available on Kindle Unlimited and the Kindle Lending Library. I hope you enjoy it. <3

 

A Poem for Our Country

Inside the Texas State Capitol Building

CHECKMATE
They dominate.
They incarcerate.
They invalidate
then equivocate.

They legislate
then misappropriate.
They incriminate
then repatriate.

But then

They miscalculate
and underestimate.
We retaliate.
We do not vacillate.
We proliferate and irradiate.

Time to decontaminate
the slate.
Circumnavigate the fate
of the irate.
Time to eradicate hate.

We will resuscitate
and rejuvenate
this failed state.

We communicate
and collaborate.
We cultivate
and educate.

We contemplate.
We compensate
and commemorate
and celebrate.

We meditate
and motivate.
We demonstrate
and illuminate.

We will recreate
this state.

© 2017. Angelle Conant. All Rights Reserved.

How Different the World Might Be…

I visited a historic battleground monument and museum today. As usual, I was quite bored. As my 2 year old took a break in a hand-carved wooden chair, laid against a well-maintained marble wall, I breathed a sigh of relief that I didn’t have to pretend to look at all the war memorabilia, at least for a little while. As she started to squirm indicating the break was over, I said to her, “Well, are you ready to look at more old, white dudes?”

An over-simplification, to say the least, but a fairly accurate generalization (there were a few photos of white women hidden among the displays as well). As we gazed at the guns and swords and rifles and pistols and military uniforms, my 2 year old asked what they were and it was difficult for me to give her a clear, but appropriate answer. “These are weapons to kill other humans” was accurate but a little much for a 2 year old (and even for me). So I simply told her this was a ‘sword’ or ‘rifle.’

Even that felt a little wrong to me. I want to shield her from the violence that we humans commit against one another or the fact that we’ve created machines to perfect it. I don’t let her watch something so violent on television so why would I show her this shrine of violent instruments?

As we continued on, it became apparent that the museum was severely lacking in color. As in people of color. There were no indigenous people or African-Americans in this war of the Americas according to the museum’s display (although they surely had been there). No, the largest and most prominent displays were of old, white men and their weapons.

The old, white men and their weapons. That seems to be all I hear about these days. And I wonder if perhaps these shrines to violence that we’ve built all over this country don’t contribute a small part to all that is going on today. There are towering monuments to war and the heroes that fought them. There are entire museums that document the wars and their weaponry in great detail. Even my history classes in junior high and high school talked mostly about ‘the great wars.’

I understand that wars are huge, world-altering events that take many, many lives and those lives must not be forgotten. And I understand that, sometimes, we must fight for justice and what we believe in. But I wonder if we were to build more statues and monuments of peace and less of war, if things might be a little different. If we had more museums of peace and fashion and science and food and love instead of war, if things might be a little different.

I wonder how different the world might be if my 2 year old and every 2 year old were able to go to a museum of kindness today and be shown the great acts of kindness that humans are capable of. I wonder if things might be just a little bit different and a whole lot better.

Strawberry Fields in Central Park, New York City – A Tribute to John Lennon

%d bloggers like this: