…Continued from Part One by Kim Barry

This is the point at which I want to interrupt my story to explain what I wish I had done prior to the storm in preparation. Because I think it could be helpful to some people.

First of all…..fun fact….tropical storms wreck havoc on anything below sea level.

Houstonians just learned this (many of whom didn’t have flood insurance); New Orleans learned it when the levees broke, and I learned it when my neighborhood got washed out.  It *almost* doesn’t matter how far away from the ocean you live when a tropical storm hits you, if your home/town is below sea level.  The rain doesn’t stop, rivers overflow, and before you know it the streets are underwater.  So, if you live in a low-lying area and a tropical storm is threatening, just pack up your stuff and be safe.

Anyway, these are some things that I wish I had packed (besides just a change of clothing!) when we were evacuated:

1. Paperwork regarding our flood insurance policy, including contact numbers.

2. Paperwork regarding our homeowners insurance policy, including contact numbers.

3. Photos we could not or would not be able to replace.

4. Passports, birth certificates, car titles, the deed to the house (some people store these in a safe deposit box at the bank, but we didn’t).

5. We also had to scramble after the storm to get our daily prescription refills, so take all the extra meds you have with you when you evacuate, or at least take all of your different doctors’ contact information so that you can reach them in an emergency to get your prescriptions refilled.

6. If you have pets, take your pet’s medications, vet records, and vet contact info.  You may need to put up your dog or cats for a few days at some point after the storm while you work out living arrangements.  Dog boarding places typically want your dog’s shot records, and it will be virtually impossible to get them if your whole town is under water.

7. Also in regards to arrangements, if you suspect that an evacuation might be in your best interests because a storm is headed your way (don’t feel compelled to stay until you are mandatorily evacuated!), then I would research and possibly reserve rooms at a hotel or motel ahead of the days you might need them.  A few hotels that definitely accept pets are the Extended Stay America and the Red Roof Inn. Some hotels don’t require a credit card to make a reservation if you make the reservation online.  So, no harm done if you end up not needing the room.

This is my dog Jack, who stayed with us at my mother-in-law’s house during the hurricane, wearing glasses.

End of Part 2.

Part 3 is what happened to us after the storm- dealing with FEMA, our flood insurance, the government, the mortgage company, etc.

It is my sincere hope that no one is able to relate any farther than this picture of my dog in glasses.  Because so far I haven’t gotten to the bad part of the story yet.  I hope nobody else has to go through what we went through after we got home and began our recovery efforts.

To be continued.

(Read Part One here)