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Surviving the Storm – Hurricane Harvey Finance Tips

Hurricane, National Disaster, Storms, Flood, HoustonGreetings! The past week has been tough for the city of Houston. As you know, Hurricane Harvey made some serious damage in Texas and hit the Clutch City hard. To say we were prepared was an understatement.

My family and I returned from our summer vacation Saturday night on 1 of 3 flights from New Orleans to Houston. We were grateful to head home but had no idea what we would come back to. Storms and winds swept freeways, lightning flashed, and flooded roads made it difficult to get to our final destination, home.

Hurricane, National Disaster, Storms, Flood, HoustonI can’t even describe the feelings I felt while driving from the airport. I couldn’t see the road ahead and I was unsure what areas were underwater but all I kept thinking about was my precious nephews and my beautiful family in the backseat. My heart stopped a few times when I couldn’t see the road or how much water was in front of me but thank goodness God guided us home. Here’s what I learned from the flood in regards to finances:

Stay ready, never to get ready

This is my business motto but it can be applied to any situation or circumstance. I know things can get tight but keeping gas in your tank and having groceries are critical. These essentials go a long way and can really make a difference when you get trapped or in our case, flooded in. A charged phone is equally as important. One phone call, text, or social media post might save your life or change your situation.

Hurricane, National Disaster, Storms, Flood, HoustonHouston Helps

As of last month, I’ve officially been in Houston for 10 years! I love this city and the humility of Houstonians. Everyone’s eager to lend a hand and help when in need. I saw this firsthand this week when my home was affected as a result of the storm. I wasn’t able to assess the damage until Wednesday night but friends who lived nearby offered to check on the house. There was damage to the front and back entrance of my home but nothing that can’t be repaired. I know I was a bit down at first, but can’t begin to imagine what it might feel like to be completely flooded.

I’m so glad to know there are resources available for those affected by the flood. If you need assistance or have been displaced by Harvey reach out to these agencies.

FEMA – Apply for disaster relief help. You might qualify for hotel vouchers or financial assistance if your home was flooded.

Texas Workforce – If you were unable to work this week you could be eligible for assistance.

If you own a home contact your mortgage company and request they provide your home owner’s insurance information. Reach out to the company and enter a claim as soon as possible. I contacted my insurance company earlier this week and an adjuster will assess the damages from Harvey this weekend. I’m hoping by getting my claim in early I can get the ball rolling on repairs.

If you rent and have renter’s insurance contact your service provider for disaster relief help.

Hurricane, National Disaster, Storms, Flood, HoustonHouston Heals

We can and will recover from Hurricane Harvey. My heart goes out to those who lost everything. Last year, Baton Rouge was devastated by a terrible flood. I remember pooling together with family, friends, and coworkers to donate clothing, household items, diapers, and toiletries. Now those same giving individuals will need help to rebuild their homes.

What can we do to help? Volunteer, donate to flood victims and pray for everyone who was affected by the storm. The next few months will be focused on rebuilding and reviving the culture of Houston. Let’s do it with love! Leave a comment with recommendations on where to donate and let me know what you’ve learned from the flood.