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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

We need help in a bad way, after a national disaster !

Mike CookFebruary 10, 2013
We are hard working people and thought after 35 years on the Job,had this life thing nailed down, but then the unexspected happened, June 8th 2008 woke up at 7am to our police scanner going off hearing our local fire dept talking about how they needed to evacuate people from their homes, then we heard someone knocking at our door, so I stepped out of bed and when my feet hit the floor at that very moment I knew there was a problem,our carpet was soaked and when I opened the front door I could then see our yard was covered in about 2 foot of water, the fireman told me we had to go, quickly that we had 13 " of rain In 6 hours and the levys had broke and the entire area was at risk, I told them I would get dressed and grab a few things and our cocker spaniel and he then told me you have no time for that and your pet cannot go, I refused to leave without our baby, she was our child in a sense, in fact in many ways, so I stayed and continued to do as needed, and then was able to leave when I walked out carrying our little dog in my arms the water had rose to about 4 and half feet , and rising quickly, before it was all over we had over 6 foot of water inside our home, I had never been so devastated in my life, 35 years of hard and long hours gone in a flash, and it has not ended yet we have hired several guys claiming they were contractors only to get ripped off and faulty work, we have replaced every single piiece of drywall in the entire house,all the electrical, we had new floors put in and now the kitchen floor is swelling and we are at a lost, we were told by our local flood coucil that we would get help from the amish but that never happened, all we have gotten is promise;s and faulty work, we have spent close to 30,000 in material from lowes and even our carpet and floors, but they tell us they cannot do anything, so we continue to go through this nightmare, living everyday looking at bare green drywall, and living in a construction zone,and we pray daily that someone would come our rescue,I have wrote Opra,Dr.Phill,Ellen,And have heard nothing,I have wrote Mike Holmes, did receive a letter back from him telling us they only do work in canada, we live in a small town in Indiana and no movie stars or celebritys have come or offerred any help, your welcome to look at the devastation on you tube just type in flood martinsville,In , this devastation affected 9 countys. please we our at a point of begging for help. Thank you and God Bless !
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Wow that is bad hope it gets fixed
1 Like    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 1:22PM
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Pamela Bateman Garden Design
Thank you for putting all of our decorating dilemmas in perspective! I am so sorry this natural disaster has taken such a toll on you and your house. I cannot offer any expert advice other than to hope some useful information is given to you here on Houzz. I hope there are others that have dealt with flooding that can give you some ideas about what to do next. Good luck and I will look up Martinsville Flood on YouTube.
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 1:58PM
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Distinguished Flooring LLC
Wow, I'm sorry to hear your story. Best of luck to you
1 Like    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 4:11PM
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I am so sorry to read of your disaster. I will keep you in my prayers. Hopefully someone pursuing this site will offer concrete help.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 4:33PM
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Mike Cook
franklin36 Thank you we are as well praying for that white horse to riding out of the darkness and bring us some much needed help, we just want to restore our lifes and live in a clean home, are floors are not concrete, they are built on joist. Thanks again.
Pamela thank you for your sweet words, really had no Ideal I was doing that, just felt Maybe just maybe somebody would hear our cry for help, thank you again. Thank you for all of your thoughtful comments, and your Prayers, We as well hope and pray that blessing come your way as well, God Bless
    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 7:02PM
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Pamela Bateman Garden Design
I am sure you have done some research but in case you haven't there is some information available if you google 'flood damaged home'. Also if you take pictures of the problems inside your house and then post the picture and questions on Houzz you may get some more answers. For example take a picture of the floors that you are having problems with and post a question here on Houzz. I hope this helps.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 8:24PM
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Thank heavens you saved the dog! I would go though hellnback for my girl. Good job getting through that. Have you considered writing a letter to your local TV stations? We have a local watchdog here who will do a short piece about community problems if you ask and they deem them news worthy. Then you can get the word to local folks who may have the expertise and ability to zero in on the problem and help. Keep praying, and sending your story to anyone and everyone! Radio stations, Churches, police and fire departments, governor, senator, mayor, supermarkets everywhere....Don't post your address just contact number. Ask a friend or family member to help you craft a nice letter telling your story and what specifically you need in as few words as possible. Short, sweet and to the point. Include a few pictures of the current situation and you will get the right help you need. I can tell you have that Hoosier tenacity! Keep it up, you are on the right track, I will be praying for you. Post pictures of problem areas here also. God bless you.
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 8:58PM
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Mary Ignaczak
SO sorry My son just went thru this last month..He and wife and 5 children lost everything....sure puts everything into perspective in a hurry......starters rip out everything call on all friends ,you will be surprized who will come to help... Dry Ice will kill all mold....just make sure it is completely gone before any get covered up in the walls ...send out a plea to local certified trades men to check out plumbing,elect..ect there are good people out there pray and you will find them ask at church everyone there knows hundreds who are not at your church but good people you can trust....My other son does spray foam wonderful product look into who can do it in your area ,fills up those walls and floors with product that won`t mold ...Most of all don`t be afraid to ask for help,that is sometimes hard ,but ask and you will recieve...God has a plan...
1 Like    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 9:24PM
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Mike Cook
Pamela here are the photos of the mess were having to live in, we had such a nice home at one time we get hit with the flood then our health fails, then we get ripped off by a snake in the grass contractor and were left with our hearts in our laps and this mess,there are plenty more photos in my photos
    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 7:54PM
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Pamela Bateman Garden Design
OK. Take one of these pictures and post it on Design Dilemma. Ask a question and then you will get answers. For example post the first picture and ask "Water Damage - What next?' Then explain that your home was flooded and add any other details about what you have done so far. Keep trying and you should get some answers. Post each picture separately with a question for each picture. Hope this helps.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 5:24AM
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This flood was over two years ago. I'm not sure why it has taken so long, and I don't know if there are any time limits, but there are some federal resources you can try.

Here is a page where you can see what kind of assistance you might be eligible for:

And from FEMA:
Do I Qualify for "Housing Needs" Assistance?

Main Content
To receive money or help for "Housing Needs" that are the result of a disaster, all of the following must be true:

You have losses in an area that has been declared a disaster by the President.
You have filed for insurance benefits and the damage to your property is not covered by your insurance or your insurance settlement is insufficient to meet your losses.
You or someone who lives with you is a citizen of the United States, a non-citizen national, or a qualified alien.
You have a valid Social Security Number.
The home in the disaster area is where you usually live and where you were living at the time of the disaster.
You are not able to live in your home now, you cannot get to your home due to the disaster, or your home requires repairs because of damage from the disaster.


Good luck.
    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 5:53AM
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Mike Cook
Thank you for your response, we have been working on it, the sad thing is after things like this happens the wolfs come out, we hired people who really put on a good front, only to be taken advanage of, they would work just enough to draw money from us then never showed up again and no way to reach them,the numbers they gave are disconnected, then my wife became il and ended up losing a kidney, and still is having problems, I myself went in for a colonoscopy and they found 14 pylops 5 of those were cancer so I have had to under go treatment for that, like I said its the nightmare that won't end,I have tried to do what i could, I bought material, but limited on what I know how to do, I try to read and learn from the internet , but soon find out there is a huge difference from knowledge and skill, we have tried and applied for help and was approved, then we received a letter telling us do to cut backs in the system , the program was no longer offered ! so were praying that God will send us the help we need to restore our home, we are not asking for fancy , just clean and decent, I have material and will try and get what ever else is needed, just in need of a little compassion and help. Thank you.God bless !
    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 8:11AM
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I would get competent advice from a restoration contractor. Before you put down new materials, you need to make sure the structure of your house is sound and dry, through and through. You may need to pull apart more walls, set up fans, and spend months drying, and then demolish whatever can't be thoroughly dried and made sound. Appears there were still wall or foundation breaches, dampness or pooled water somewhere and the moisture comes through into your new materials.
    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 8:23AM
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And another thought is, to truly consider whether rebuilding is your best bet, considering your health, ages and financial resources. I would think of all possibilities, including demolishing an unrepairable house and either selling the lot, or buying a small manufactured house to put on it. It's important to think about future risks to anything you build or repair - what is the chance of a repeat flood?
1 Like    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 8:27AM
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Mike Cook
well the experts tell us it was a 100 year flood, we don't even live around or near a body of water, we had 13 inches of rain in 6 hours and the levys broke, I feel it was storm damage but progressive won't cover it, they turned their backs on us, we now have a different company to say the least, we have done what you have said, every piece of drywall, windows, doors,floors,electrical has been replaced, just not finshed, Thank you for your response. God Bless
    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 8:34AM
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Your neighbors must be going through the same thing. Can you band together and apply your skills to help each other. Everybody sharing what they know and helping. This would run like a co-op. Everyone has to participate somehow to get help themselves.

Committees should be formed:

1) Assess damage: A committee should access the IMMEDIATE NEEDS of every family and not just a list of what must be done or what people want done but what are the most pressing needs. If there is no one that can do this, see if you can get someone retired, or a group of retired ones would be better, to help out and share their knowledge and help on this committee and assignments.There should be one room in the house that is liveable for each family. Roof damage and windows come first so that when it rains it doesn't destroy any work in progress.

2) Assess local skills. Organize training. Assess what skills are available in the neighborhood. If anyone has any construction skills at all, they should be training others to do what they know how to do. Set up training committees. The person training should not be the one doing the work. Their only job is to train so that there are enough people to get the work done.

3) Assess ways of getting help where local help is insufficient. An organization of retired civil engineers might be willing to help. An organization of retired architectural engineers might be willing to help train some construction skills. Send out a call for retired construction workers, not to do the work, but to train others on a volunteer basis.. Contact the governor and request a personal meeting. Select at least two persons in the neighborhood that would be qualified to do this who can explain in detail the needs assessed by committees and find out what assistance could be received by any state and federal assistance programs and how to obtain this. Get any paperwork necessary to obtain assistance before leaving the governors office so it can be filled out by this committee immediately. They should also be responsible to follow up on this and be the movers and shakers to get it going.

4) Asses immediate NEEDS of food, clothing and shelter.

5) Make assignments for all who want to be included in the co-op. First considerations. Every family must have minimal food and clothing and blankets. Someone can be assigned to look for clothing at thrift stores or to make door to door solicitations in neighboring areas that were not affected by the flood. Money jars in stores explaining the needs--as far out from the neighborhood as is needed. People assigned to do things like this could be some that can't be trained or are too old to do simple construction and cleanup. They must be people of integrity.

6) People that can not do construction of any sort or clean up can be assigned to other committees that check references of people who say they are builders from the Better Business Bureau, and that states offices for licensing of builders. Ask the state to set up a web page that lists builders who have scammed. Report them to the insurance companies. Report them to the state office of Consumer Affairs. Report them to the police and the Attorney General's office so these people can be brought to justice and not be allowed to hurt others. Keep lists of these people that can be accessed by your neighborhood so that they will not be 'rehired'. All information should be provided to the people on the committee so they can do their job and get the help they need also on their own homes. Find out what the monetary limit is to sue in small claims court for your state. Also, check for the statute of limitations involved. It should be handled quickly. This committee can help handle forms for small claims courts. It doesn't cost much to do this. This committee should make a distributable list of how to hire a competent contractor. some states have standard wording that contractors must provide in contracts. Some put limitations on how much money can be paid up front on a contract for work being done. 1) Demand no less than three references 2) Demand license # (if required by the state), 3) Check the references--actually go to the job and talk to the homeowners. 4) Demand a copy of their certificate of insurance. 5) Demand a contract and check it out to make sure it is in compliance with the state's rules. This should be done before anyone is hired to do anything.

7) Another committee should be organized to feed the workers. See if a school or armory or American Legion kitchen would be willing to donate on the weekends and during the week to supply food at a central place. See if a local grocery store would be willing to provide plates, paper cups, plastic silverware for free to help the effort. Make healthy cheap meals. This could be done through a local volunteer food kitchen--by supplying them with help, or a local volunteer food kitchen (like the Salvation Army) may be able to give you resources where cheap food can be purchased) and help set up menus. Everyone should pay for their meals based on a sliding income guide so that more food can be purchased. Make sure there is also assigned a clean up committee. If the place is left unclean help will be more reluctant to be offered. Everyone must have a job. Organize jobs in areas so that if workers are too far away, someone can truck brown bag food to them instead of pulling them away from the job. Local schools might be willing to offer a small school bus for this purpose if necessary.

8) A committee should be assigned to decide what areas for houses need work done first and what part of the job should or can be done first depending on training that is received and available help.

I hope this is helpful. My heart goes out to you and your neighbors. Best wishes to you all.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 10:06AM
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Pamela Bateman Garden Design
eagledzines: Thank you for all your input. I don't know where you live but I wish you lived near me in case of a disaster. Thank you also for you comments. I was afraid only beautiful homes got responses on Houzz. My faith is restored.
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 6:20PM
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Mike Cook
Yes eagledzines many other have gone through what we have as well, but some are blessed to have family members to help them, we always thought we did, in fact my wifes brother owns his own construction company and we have asked him several times for help, only to be told we live to far away from him, he lives an hour north of us, sad yes, but what can a person do ? we hate to ask anyone for help, this did not just happen it was june 2008 and we are still trying to get things fixed, we have hired people they come in work a day or so tell us they need money for supplys then we never see them again, we have paid people for work only for another guy to come along and tell us it was not done correct, and have to tear it out and re-do it again, we have bought material ourselfs now, but after my wife became sick and lost a kidney then last winter I had colon cancer, we are at a loss, we are so tired of all of this, and just pray it would all go away, we are not well, we have filed for help and was approved through the State for help, then get notice that due cut backs the program is no longer offered, we get hope and start to see a light at the end of this dark tunnel and it only goes dim again, well thank you all just the same , just had seen this and just grabbed at maybe a chance of getting help, I do Thank you all for your Input, May God bless you all and I do Pray none of you ever have to go through this nightmare, Thanks again .
    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 8:46PM
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So sorry for what you have gone through both with disaster and health. I really can't imagine. No one can unless they've gone through it. It makes me angry that people take advantage in situations like this. The only thing you can do is try to protect yourself by doing the things I suggested before you hire someone. I hope the treatment for cancer is going okay and hope it won't last long. Personally I don't know anyone in Indiana. You could try writing to your congressman about how the cutbacks have affected you regarding the flooding. I really hope things start looking up for you and your wife. There are a lot of good suggestions here by people. I hope some of them will help you. It's difficult to press on when you don't have your health. But don't give up. Keep trying.
    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 9:13PM
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