Emergency Preparedness: Lessons Learned

emergency preparedness lessons learned


A little under 2 years ago, Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas coast.  Our community Kingwood, Texas suffered great losses. From loss comes lessons! It’s where we learn that we can help others too.  Here are several lessons learned on emergency preparedness that help you.


Protecting your home and finances

Most of our community suffered catastrophic losses. Flood insurance can help the financial loss.  Flood insurance is offered through a national program. It’s affordable compared to the losses you might incur in a flood.  Having this insurance helped many with replacement and rebuilding.  Check with your insurance agent to learn about coverage. Flood insurance must be in place for 30 days before using the coverage.


Now is the time to create your home inventory.  Your inventory can be a digital version. A video of your home is the least you can do on your smart phone.  Walk around your home identifying the items and where and when you purchased, and other significant information. HomeZada offers a digital inventory version you can complete in segments to protect your belongings in case of loss. Having this inventory saves you time and also helps you in case of loss.


Protecting your pets and family

There’s all types of emotional responses to catastrophe.  Many families experienced post traumatic stress after this flood.   Keep this in mind, all the while when your family appears unaffected.  Seeking support through community groups can help.  Many families were sharing their losses and thoughts through religous related affiliations.  A community event called Rainaxiety helped those deeply affected.  Seek out support as you find yourself struggling.


Preparing documentation for emergencies is the best step.  There are documents to prepare and keep ready for when you leave.  These documents can be gathered in a water proof safe, kept in a closet at home.  It’s easiest to organize these with labelled ziplocks.  If you have not been able to locate these, check online on ways to replace these documents now. Vital records will be needed for each of your family in case of an emergency.


Every day medical emergencies happen. Bike accidents, car accidents, and falling off a ladder are all things to be prepared for as much as major catastrophes.  Be sure you have your insurance in your car and in your wallet for these situations.


It’s the emergence of hope and community that are at work in an emergency. Those in our community rallied to help each other.   Be open to accepting help and giving help in these emergency situation. We are here to help each other.  That is the greatest blessing I learned during these difficult times. 







4 replies
  1. Linda Samuels
    Linda Samuels says:

    In the wake of hurricane Dorian and the devastation that ensued, your poignant and practical advice is especially timely. I know that when your community went through hurricane Harvey, you were instrumental in helping others both with physical help and emotional support. That experience comes through in your writing here and provides a beacon of hope.

    Your reminder about using HomeZada for inventory management is an excellent point. The fact that you can do this project in stages makes it less overwhelming.

  2. Seana Turner
    Seana Turner says:

    This is so helpful, to have the perspective both of a professional organizer and someone who has been through disaster. I appreciate your link to your post on important documents as well. Now is the time to get those things in order! I remember watching the coverage about the pets during the hurricane. So hard because you can’t explain to them what is going on. I hope we have NO hurricanes hitting us this year… boring weather is great weather!

  3. Ellen
    Ellen says:

    There is a big learning curve in all we experienced. Having learned a lot about FEMA and floods, we hope to never have to use this information again.

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