Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Fellowship of the Flood Assembles Again

The people of Louisiana are undergoing epic flooding.  It's not the first flood event in our country this year, or the second or the third.   My heart goes out to those in all the places who have flooded this year - Louisiana, Ellicott City, Maryland, Houston, and more overseas, because I know, on a much smaller scale, something of what they are going through.

In a blog post from 2011, I called that fellowship 'The Fellowship of the Flood'.  It's a club that you don't ever want to join.  Membership is automatic when you have experienced a flood.

The fellowship is millions strong, and growing.

But, for those who are members of the Fellowship, you know that the experience of being in a flood never leaves you completely.


There are two groups of people you can talk to about your flood experiences.

Those who know.

And those who can't imagine.

I belong to several blogging support groups.  One of the members of that support group lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Another blogger posted this video on Facebook.  Her area was impacted by another "epic" flood earlier this year.

I can't imagine what her area is going through, because I know just enough (from personal experience) to know that I can't imagine.  My flood was not their flood. But someone out on the street playing a piano does not surprise me at all, based on my own experiences.

That's the first thing to admit.  You DON'T know what those in Louisiana are going through, unless you are there.

In September of 2011, after widespread flooding impacted many areas of our state, New York,  I find (going through those posts) of my feeling of gratitude.  That may or may not surprise you.

This September I plan to republish some of the posts, from September of 2011, to remind myself of how lucky I was.

It is hard to tell people how to support others who are going through a disaster of this magnitude, but just being there to listen is important.

There are some of the things you should know to do if you go through a flood.

And then there are the things people should and shouldn't do if you are moved to help.

Right now it's the everyday things people n the flood zones need.  Clean drinking water.  A place to wash your clothes.  Oh, how I missed having a place to wash my clothes. 

A place to feel human again.

What they don't need are flood tourists.  If you aren't a trained helper, or belong to an organization that knows what they are doing, you will do those people a favor by staying home.

Meanwhile, those flooded look around and see life going on, and wonder when their lives will get better.  You must know it will be a long process.

You may find you need professional help to move on.  You should not hesitate to seek it.  Even a year later.  Even more than that later.  It's not weakness.

For those not affected physically but want to help, this is my advice - be very careful, if you are moved to give for flood relief.  Be careful who you give to.  So many scammers out there. 

With our changing climate, we must learn how to live with floods.

I fear this is only the beginning.


  1. It is so scary to be part of all this calamity. I have no idea how long it will be for all those who have been part of this to return to normalcy. There will be so many losses that will always give them pain.

  2. I've never personally experienced a flood, although we have been on the outer edges of any number of them since we moved to the Houston area almost thirty years ago. The worst for our community was in 1994 when many of our neighbors on our cul-de-sac street who live on lower ground - our house is at the high end of the street - had several feet of water in their houses. It was devastating. Such natural disasters test us in ways that those who have not lived through them cannot even imagine.

  3. In such trying times when people extend their hands for help and not just sending money, it means we have not lost humanity. Hope things settle down there soon. Prayers.

  4. I can't imagine what people go through during floods . But as you said, with changing climate we need to learn to live with it and be prepared for it.

  5. A friend of mine is in the midst of cleaning out from this flood. (He posted a pic on FB of him in his teaching clothes and flip-flops as the rest of his shoes succumbed to the flooding.) He also posted pics of his flooded house. It's a mess.

  6. Last year we had floods in Chennai,India.I can very well relate to all the scary thoughts that floods bring upon us.

  7. Never been in a flood and I hope to blazes I never am in one either. It sounds just as bad if not worse then a fire...


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