Houston has never been the same after Harvey; it was the costliest flood in the history or US where citizens lost stuff worth billions. A reported, Flippa K Ownser, was documenting the after-effects of the tide when several times she burst into tear telling how the Houston looked after the flood.
“There were no roads, no houses, no people; all of it was a river and some empty boats floating in it”. Even after months, flood damage restoration companies were unable to get a hold of the loss. New stories emerged on the internet, but one story which personally hit me was the story of little Emma who had lost her family in the unfortunate incident. No one with a heart can dare to retell the story but just of the sake of spreading awareness, here is the bit:
How Emma discovered about the flood:
My Blankie was wet—and so was my bed. I woke up and found the room was filled with dirty water. I thought Jake is pranking me, but Jake wasn’t there. So I stood up on the bed and called mommy. She wasn’t answering me. I yelled with all my strength; mommy! Still no answer! I decide to go to my parent’s bedroom, but the water was too much. I stepped down the bed and slowly hurried towards the stairs. The first floor was filled with water. I never knew how to swim. Despite my demands, Jake never taught me. I tried to hold my breath, but I couldn’t. Going downstairs meant going in the water above my head, so I decided to go upstairs in Nona’s room. The room was dry, and there was no water in there. I tried finding Nona, but she was nowhere. Her bathroom was filled with poo, and dirty water was coming out of her toilet. Nona hates dirt. I opened the window of her room and tried to look outside. The pool was everywhere. Katie’s home was in the water, and so was our school. I could see nothing but the sea. Daddy’s car was floating in the water, and so was Jake’s bike. I didn’t know where everyone was.
What should we teach our little ones?
“It is important to teach our kids to be brave and strong no matter what!” Flippa mentioned. Most of the flood damage and restoration services are offering free of cost swimming lessons in Houston after Harvey. Do catch up to them to teach your kids how to survive in difficult times.
Emma was unprepared though:
It was evening. The outside was dark. The house had no power. I tried turning the TV on, but it never initiated. I decided to stay in Nona’s room since my room was all wet and soggy. Nona’s Blankie smelled and it scratched my nose. I decided to bring my own Blankie from downstairs, but the water was slowly filling in my room. First, it was below my bed, and now it was equal to the footboard.
I was hungry, the fridge was downstairs, and I couldn’t go downstairs. So I sat I Nona’s room.
The light was now completely gone. I sat in Nona’s bed all night. I think I slept for some hours too. When I woke up Nona’s carpet was soggy. The water was following me everywhere. The staircase to my room was completely filled with water. I was hearing helicopter’s circling Katie’s house. I took the stairs to our rooftop. I was scared doing so, mommy never allowed to the roof. What if she finds out—she’ll be mad. I reached the rooftop, and cold wind slapped my face. The helicopters were everywhere. At our schools’ roof, even at Katie’s. I yelled—heyyyyy! No one heard. I jumped up and down waving my hands…heyyyy! No one answered.
“The first thing to let our little ones know is the right way to call help. Flood or no flood—our kids must know how to reach for the help efficiently. Life gives you chances, moments, pauses to recover, to resume. You must know how to avail these chances”. She further mentions.
Emma did what she could:
“Hey, helicopter!” No, it wasn’t coming in my direction. I sat near the water tanker. They will never hear me. If they are here to take me to Mommy’s, I won’t be able to go. I stood one last time and came right in the middle of the rooftop. My leg was trembling, I was afraid of the height, and the air was blowing my skirt furiously. I jumped up and down waving my hand fast. “Heyy helicopter, hey…hey helicopter driver!”
The helicopter paused for some seconds and turned towards me. It sounded like a rumble of thunder. My hair my dress, everything was flowing. The aircraft broke above my head. I saw a helicopter driver falling down to our rooftop through a rope. “Are you ok?” The masked man asked me. “Are you okay kid? “He repeatedly politely and I nodded. He scooped me in his arms and climbed up like Spiderman. I was told I was the only one who had survived from my family. The disaster restoration service documented her house after flood and the images were devastating to look at. She never visited her house again and was adopted right after she was found.