We all have those moments in their life when everything seems perfect. Everyone is healthy, happy, and home life is great. But then somehow life knows how to throw you a curve ball to keep you on your toes. This was me a few months ago—we were on our family cruise and as soon as we were back to land, we got an unexpected text.
Our neighbor texted my husband the longest message and I could just see my husband’s face drop as he continued to read it. Our neighbor noticed water rushing out our front door and he turned off the main water valve to our house. Inside, I was panicking because my husband was silent, and when he finished reading he said he had to go home, even though we had a few days left of our trip. He told me what happened and my heart sank. There was a severe freeze while we were gone, a pipe burst in the dining room, and our entire house had flooded. We had just finished remodeling our home in November two months prior and were finally settled back into the house.
Four months later, we are back in our house. We spent weeks living with my parents and months living at a hotel. I thought dealing with a toddler was hard enough but imagine living in a hotel room for three months with a toddler. Our house was basically gutted and remodeled and we were left with very few possessions after the flood. We learned a lot from this experience, how we could live with very few material things, and how close we became as a family because of our living conditions. I am grateful nothing worse happened and that we weren’t home when it happened. Below are a few lessons I thought I’d share so that you may feel a bit more prepared should the unexpected happen.
- Prepare for the worst- You never know when a home disaster can happen, so prepare. Have all your important documents and pictures in a safe, waterproof and fireproof location.
- Contact- If you plan on going out of town, let neighbors or family know ahead of time. Even if it’s just for a few days, have someone check on the house.
- Know your people- Have your home insurance information and other important numbers ready. My adjuster and I are best friends now because of my experience. Knowing who to contact in an emergency is key to getting the rebuilding process started quickly and efficiently.
- Go with the flow- I am very type A; I need a plan and timeline for everything. With the flood there really wasn’t a timeline because there were so many other families who were going through the same thing, so we had to wait. I very quickly slowed down and let people tell me when things were happening and I soon became less stressed and anxious about rebuilding my home.
My story may seem unique and you may think that this would never happen to your family. But after telling so many people what has happened, it actually has occurred to more people than you’d think. Whether it’s a flood or some other kind of disaster that displaces your from your home, just remember that the most important thing in your life is your family. Everything else can be replaced.