Whenever I mention my desire to build post-disaster housing, I get a funny look as most people say, “you mean like the FEMA trailers?” Images like this one were far too common after Katrina and have been burned into our memories by the media. So first off, let’s dispel that myth.
‘Tis the season to be indoors and cozy on the couch with a good movie, and I have just the one that will change your world… or at least change your perspective on disasters. Ever wonder what post-Katrina life was like for people in New Orleans? Want a glimpse into the life of an insurance claims adjuster?
We have likely all seen the movie Christmas Vacation, can likely quote the memorable parts, and cringe when Cousin Eddie empties the trailer septic tank into the storm sewer. But watching Uncle Lewis ignite the Christmas tree is absolutely the highlight. But that could never happen, right? Or could it?
When a disaster is large enough to receive attention from national media, it usually means people come out of the woodwork to help. This was the case for the Texas floods as well. State and local governments, emergency management departments, FEMA, Red Cross, and a plethora of other organizations came out in droves to offer resources and financial assistance that made a tremendous impact to many Texans who were affected. But is that enough?
Spring floods in Texas took the state from a 4-year drought to major flooding in a matter of days. Dozens of lives were lost, almost 1,000 homes were destroyed or majorly damaged, and over $43 million worth of infrastructure damage altered the daily lives of Texans, according to official reports. The flooding made national headlines for about a week until something more newsworthy took over.
It’s amazing how much there is to know about disasters – how to prepare for them, what to do first after they occur, where to find help, and how to deal with the entire process. Suffering a disaster can be emotionally overwhelming, financially challenging, and one of the most isolating experiences we ever face. Find your community and don’t go it alone.
You wake up in the middle of the night to a smoke alarm going off, a loud knock at the door, or the smell of smoke… within seconds you have to get out of your home as quickly as possible. You grab your loved ones and pets and run outside. If you’re lucky, you grabbed your cell phone or wallet on the way out. Before you know what happened, you are standing outside as the Fire Department battles the flames. Everything you own is burnt, melted, or water logged. Now what?
As a Red Cross responder, I have met many people who are recovering from house fires. Most of these people are renters and most don’t have insurance. Dealing with a fire or other disaster is an overwhelming, frustrating and stressful experience, but having insurance can bring much-needed relief. According to the Insurance Information Institute, 95% of homeowners have insurance, however only 40% of renters have insurance. Why do YOU need it?