Living With PTSD After Harvey

PTSD is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  The definition according to WebMD, says "...once called shell shock or battle fatigue syndrome, is a serious condition that can develop after a person has experienced or witnessed a traumatic or terrifying event in which serious physical harm occurred or was threatened. PTSD is a lasting consequence of traumatic ordeals that cause intense fear, helplessness, or horror, such as a sexual or physical assault, the unexpected death of a loved one, an accident, war, or natural disaster. Families of victims can also develop PTSD, as can emergency personnel and rescue workers."

With the beginning of hurricane season on June 1st, there is a new onset of PTSD. As homes are still being put back together almost a year since Hurricane Harvey, many people are feeling the stress of hurricane season and what it will bring. There is a big concern about new developments in the area creating a reduction of watershed areas for the massive rainfalls the Houston area is known to receive periodically.

We saw how people in Houston reacted in 2005 when Hurricane Rita set her sights on the Gulf Coast of Texas.  This was a short month after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.  Many of those had relocated to Texas and were then caught in the panic and pandemonium of Hurricane Rita. There was gridlock on Houston freeways.  People were stranded on the roadways with cars running out of gas or overheating due to the hours and hours of sitting in traffic and only moving feet instead of miles.  It caused Texas to spend the next few years installing special lanes and restriping roadways to accommodate for hurricane evacuation lanes.

The Houston area has been known to receive record rain events even without a hurricane.  Tropical Storm Allison in June 2001 brings back a lot of memories for the Houston metropolitan area when Houston received over 50" of rain. 18-wheel tractor trailer rigs were floating on I-10 and many vehicles were completely submerged. No one could recall that amount of rainfall previously, and no one expected to see it again in their lifetime, but they did. 

Being prepared is one of the first steps in moving forward from the effects of Hurricane Harvey. Putting a flood insurance policy in place, making preparations in your home and implementing an emergency plan are specific steps in this process. Some homeowners have invested in temporary rubber dams they can install in preparation of storms or flooding. Anticipating loss of power, other homeowners have invested in generators.  Fulshear Insurance has a hurricane evacuation plan in place which we put into play for Hurricane Harvey. It's a written plan with steps to take and a list of supplies necessary. Some of these supplies stay year round in a box marked "Hurricane Evacuation" and stored in a prominent place in the closet.

PTSD after a particularly devastating storm is real. People need to understand what they are feeling and how to deal with it. Several articles have been written and resources are available. Here are a few articles to assist you with recognizing the warning signs and the steps to take to get help:  Recognizing the Signs of PTSD after Harvey, Children and PTSD After Hurricane Harvey.

We can never lose sight of the fact we live and work along the Texas Gulf Coast. It's basically flat, and it floods. No matter our flood plain, when it rains, it can flood. We need to prepare ourselves physically and mentally and utilize the resources available to us. At Fulshear Insurance Group, we can help you prepare by putting the right insurance policies in place for your home including flood insurance. Give us a call to discuss your options 281.533.9067 or toll free 1.855.533.9067.

Other pages you may find useful regarding flood insurance: Types of Flood Insurance, Myths and Misconceptions.

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