From the National Flood Forum
“Many of you will have suffered flooding in your homes during February from storm Ciara & Dennis, I join you in these devastating circumstances. Now we find ourselves in this surreal situation of having to deal with a pandemic the like of which no one has experienced before. I am sure like me you will be finding that this has led to added complications and additional stress to what was already a huge ordeal.
“As I am sure for all of us, everything of course has come to a standstill, I was one of the lucky ones that had insurance and did at least get to see a loss adjuster and the drying company did deliver dehumidifiers and fans. They were also able to fit in collecting damp readings. However, there have been so many people flooded with no insurance. Covid19 has brought along added challenges for me; living without a fridge, getting shopping without the ability to freeze anything so I am not out shopping every day, being unable to do any washing, these are really basic things that none of us would want to do without, well at least not for very long!
“But with no delivery of these replacements even after imparting of the knowledge that I have flooded and that these items are pretty essential, leaves another predicament to have to work around. With the added worry of an elderly vulnerable and disabled husband who easily falls and is negotiating floors and thresholds that have had to be removed, plus keeping a job down, small things like needing my fridge etc. back seem to become big issues.
“I am hearing that others did not even get to the stage of receiving driers and are in alternative accommodation with a house that remains untouched from the flood. Others I am hearing are in the over 70’s age group and find themselves in a position of increased vulnerability to the virus through either living in their flooded homes, in hotels, B&B’s or with relatives that are still going out to go to work or to get essential shopping. I am also aware that families flooded are having to split themselves to stay at parents/grandparents’ homes, children at one grandparent, their parents with other parents. Households cannot mix so the strain on the grandparent with children in their care full time must be very trying and exhausting.
“Am I feeling yet again that there is huge misconception of the issues that people face after flooding? I ask the question to ministers; has anyone thought about the issues flooded people might possibly be facing exacerbated by Covid19 after their homes/possessions/livelihoods have been destroyed and their lives totally changed?
“After all flooding qualified for COBRA meetings too, a disaster in its own right. Flooding is not only the flooding itself, it’s the position you then find yourself in dealing with the rest of life that adds to the trauma and puts flooded people in incredibly vulnerable circumstances. Through all this we want you, the flooded people, to know that the National Flood Forum is there for you. It is true that we cannot get out to see you, you can’t show us just what has happened to your home and how your world has changed, we can’t give you that big hug, a shoulder to sob on or see you face to face.
“But we are on the end of a helpline (01299403055), we do truly understand all that is thrown at flooded people by way of insurance issues, no insurance cover, issues before flooding, who manages what in flood risk management, other dilemmas and much, much more. Importantly, we are also just an understanding listening ear, someone to talk it all over with, so please do not hesitate to call us no matter how trivial it may seem, it probably is not. Please take care of yourselves, stay strong, and when it gets too much, call us”. 01299403055