Tuesday, September 12, 2017

'RESTORING H O P E': Hurricane Katrina Survivor & Advocate for Rebuilding After Harvey!

Recovery After Loss - Helping Others During 'The Grieving Process'

Hello! Over the next few weeks, months, maybe years, so many will need help in so many ways. Thought I'd share what I consider helpful information for those of us who will be looking to help. Understand loss is loss. The same stages of grief you experience when you loose a loved one is the same stages of grief some will go through as they deal with the losses experienced as a result of this disaster. The first two are usually denial and anger. Please, please be patient as people attempt to process what has just happened in their lives. Below are a few more practical tips as we go out to help others. 
Remember words have power so #LeadWithLove
Here are some very good suggestions for helping a friend/neighbor whose home has flooded...
🔸Remember they are going to feel uncomfortable being in such a position of need. It has nothing to do with pride. It's painful to go from being self sufficient one day to suddenly not having a pair of shoes with no car to go and buy some new ones and in some cases no resources. At this stage, try to see a need and fill it without asking "what can I do?" 
🔹Flooded mamas are exhausted and overwhelmed and it's hard to answer that question. At this juncture they may not even know.
If you are going to help a friend clean out their homes, here are a few items that are helpful to bring. 

Cleaning/packing Supplies:
Masks- ventilator
Paper towel
Disposable gloves
lysol/clorox wipes
Cardboard boxes
Packing tape
Hand sanitizer
Mosquito repellent
Water bottles
Fresh fruit and veggies washed and cut up (many have been eating highly processed food out of bags for days)
Ideas for questions to ask:
1. Does everyone in your family have shoes? If not, can I go pick some up? What size?
2. Do you have anyone coming to help you cut out walls? If not, can I call a few water mitigation companies to get quotes for you?
3. Do you have any laundry I can wash?
4. I have some clothes my kids have out grown, what sizes would be helpful?
5. Can I help arrange playdates for your kids?
6. Do you have any medications you would like me to call about getting replaced?
7. I'm making a trip to HEB today, please tell me 3 things I can pickup for you
8. Can I pack a school lunch for your child this week?
9. Is there anywhere I could give you a ride to?
10. I'd like to take you to pickup your rental car. Please call me when it's available.
11. Please call me when you are ready for a ride home after you drop off your rental car.

Check in with your friend a week or two later. There is a lot of help at the beginning. After a few weeks life goes back to normal for most, but flooded families are still trying to find a new normal and may be moving into apartments or juggling car research before a big purchase, etc.

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