Flooded in Houston by Hurricane Beryl? Here's What A Katrina Survivor Says To Do Immediately

By Robert Hand
July 12, 2024

FEMA was on the ground days before Hurricane Beryl hit Houston, Texas, and today they have 60 staffers organizing relief, distributing 500,000 meals and 800,000 liters of water, with more infrastructure to come. For flooded homeowners, you can feel like a deer caught in headlights because you just don't know what to do. Mold sets in within 24 hours so you need to take action. This article outlines what victims of flooded property need to do right now, and what it will cost, as told by a Hurricane Katrina survivor.

Flooded? What To Do Right Now

When your home gets flooded, it can be overwhelming. There is so much devastation that you don't know where to begin. The first thing to do is to call all your friends and ask for help, since this is no time go it alone. You will be amazed at how word can get around and friends will come to the rescue. Here is a list of what you need immediately and how much things cost that you need to ask people to bring you:

FLOOD FIX SUPPLY LIST

Cost Each  

Total 

Count

Igloo-WalMart $      69.00 $         69.001
Air Conditioning Filters-Lowes $        8.97 $         17.942
Ice, bags-Winn Dixie  $        2.10 $         21.0010
Bottled water (cases) Lowes $        3.29 $         32.9010
Kobalt box cutter knives-Lowes $      14.98 $       149.8010
Box cutter blades (100)-Lowes $      19.98 $         19.981
32 gallon Brute trash cans -Lowes $      29.98 $       119.924
18 inch round wheeled dolly for trash can-Lowes $      34.98 $       139.924
Aluminum dust pans-Lowes $      11.97 $         47.884
Drywall saw-Lowes $      12.98 $         51.924
#24 cotton mop head-Lowes $      13.98 $         27.962
3 mil trash bags-Lowes $      14.98 $         59.924
48 pack terry towels-Lowes $      17.98 $         35.962
gargantuan dust pan-Lowes $      12.98 $         12.981
mop stick and bucket with lever-Lowes $      59.95 $         59.951
Carpet blower rental (1 week)-Home Depot $      88.00 $       704.008
ZEP spray bottle to mix 25% Clorox spray-Lowes $        6.48 $         25.924
Kobalt flat shovel-Lowes $      25.98 $         25.981
18 inch stiff push broom-Lowes $      25.98 $         25.981
sponge mop with extra sponge replacements $        8.98 $         53.886
ZEP Quick Clean Floor Cleaner/Degreaser-1 gallon-Lowes $        6.48 $         12.962
Clorox splash-less bleach, gallons-Lowes $        4.24 $         21.205
Straw brooms-Lowes $      12.95 $       103.608
Wet/Dry 3 gal, 5 HP Shop Vac-Lowes with extra filters $      49.95 $         49.951
portable fans-Lowes $      69.99 $       279.964

Total

  $    2,170.46 

Once you have your supplies, start with the highest priority tasks. Have your insurance adjuster examine your property, take lots of photographs, and file a claim with FEMA as soon as possible. You might have a 4 bedroom home but if only 2 people live there, you will only receive FEMA aid for a 2 person house. Save financial records, photographs, appliances. Everything wet that is salvageable must go outside to dry, all else thrown away.

First Things First

  1. Pull up all wet wood flooring or carpet and discard. Mold can set in within 24-48 hours.
  2. Cover salvageable furniture with sheets.
  3. All wet trim and sheetrock has to be pulled out and discarded into 3 mil black trash bags in Brute cans on wheeled dollies. One person should have the job of taking bags of wet sheetrock outside and refilling trash cans with bags. Break up the sheetrock into small enough pieces so they fit into the trash bags.
  4. Get a ruler and mark a line on every wall at least 24 inches from the floor, or high enough to mark where the wet sheetrock stops. Snap a chalk line or use a level to draw a line. Use a box cutter knife or drywall jab to cut out the wet sheetrock. Pull out trim nails with pliers and remove drywall screws.
  5. Broom out large chunks of debris and insulation.
  6. Wet/Vac out water and remaining debris from studs.
  7. Once exposed, studs are clean and free of debris and insulation, spray with bleach 25% mixture, then place institutional carpet blowers near exposed walls to dry out studs. Let fans and blowers run 24/7. Studs should be dry in 2-3 days.
  8. Pull out all wet kitchen and bath base cabinets and store outside to dry, if possible, remove cabinet doors for ventilation.
  9. Soak up standing water with with cotton head mop and clean floors often with sponge mop, so as not to track sheetrock dust to other rooms. Dust does not mop up by itself, so use ZEP Floor Cleaner.

Resources:

FEMA:https://www.fema.gov/apply-assistance

MOLD: https://www.fema.gov/pdf/rebuild/recover/fema_mold_brochure_english.pdf


Louisiana Commercial Realty

Commercial Real Estate Experts
Robert Hand, MBA, CCIM, SIOR
robert@louisianacommercialrealty.com
Licensed in Louisiana & Mississippi
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