Navigating Floodwaters: Comprehensive Safety and Recovery Guide for Texas Forest Country Residents


With Texas Forest Country facing unprecedented torrential rainfall leading to widespread flooding, understanding how to respond effectively can be critical. Flooding can threaten lives, damage property, and disrupt communities. This comprehensive guide provides detailed instructions for residents and business owners on how to deal with flooding in homes, businesses, and cars.

For Homeowners

1. Immediate Safety Measures

  • Evacuation: Follow local evacuation orders without hesitation. Know your community’s evacuation routes and have a pre-planned meeting point.
  • Utility Shut-off: Safely turn off all utilities at the main switches or valves to prevent electrical shock or gas leaks. Only do this if it does not involve standing in water.

2. Protecting Valuables and Documents

  • Store important documents such as birth certificates, property deeds, and insurance policies in waterproof containers. Consider keeping digital copies in secure cloud storage.

3. Structural Safety

  • Inspect your home for any visible structural damage such as cracks or foundation movement before re-entering after a flood.
  • Contact professionals to inspect and confirm that your home is safe to enter, especially for gas leaks, electrical system damage, and water supply contamination.

4. Clean-up and Mold Prevention

  • Remove standing water as quickly as safety allows. Use pumps or buckets and then mop up residues.
  • Circulate air with fans, open windows, and use dehumidifiers to dry out the premises.
  • Remove wet contents immediately to prevent mold growth, which can start within 24 hours. Separate salvageable items from ruined ones.

5. Handling Insurance

  • Document all damage thoroughly with photos and videos before starting significant clean-up efforts for insurance claims.
  • Contact your insurance company promptly to report the damage and follow their instructions on necessary documentation and claims processes.

For Business Owners

1. Preparing and Protecting Your Business

  • Implement a flood action plan that includes staff training on safety measures and emergency procedures.
  • Use sandbags and flood barriers to protect entry points. Move valuable inventory and equipment to higher levels.

2. Business Continuity

  • Develop a business continuity plan that includes maintaining critical operations from an alternative location if the main site is compromised.
  • Regularly back up all business data to a remote or cloud service to ensure that you can maintain business operations even if physical records are destroyed.

3. Communication

  • Establish a communication strategy to keep employees, customers, and suppliers informed during and after the emergency.
  • Use social media, your company website, and local media to update stakeholders on your business status and recovery progress.

For Motorists

1. Avoiding Floodwaters

  • Never attempt to drive through floodwaters. Just 12 inches of moving water can float a car, and roads under water may be damaged or washed away.
  • If your vehicle becomes surrounded by water, abandon it and seek higher ground if you can do so safely.

2. Vehicle Recovery

  • Do not start your car after it has been flooded; this can cause more damage. Have it inspected by a professional mechanic.
  • Check your vehicle insurance policy for flood damage coverage and understand the terms for making a claim.

General Preparedness Tips

1. Building an Emergency Kit

  • Your kit should include water, non-perishable food, a first-aid kit, a flashlight, extra batteries, and necessary medications.

2. Staying Informed

  • Monitor weather updates and emergency notifications through a NOAA weather radio or trusted media and online sources.
  • Understand the flood risk in your area and the signs that indicate you should evacuate or move to higher ground.

3. Community Support

  • Check on neighbors, especially the elderly, disabled, and families with small children, who might need additional help during a flood.
  • Volunteer with local relief efforts if you are able and it is safe to do so.

Being prepared and knowing the correct steps to take before, during, and after a flood can make a significant difference in safety and recovery. Residents of Texas Forest Country should prioritize these guidelines to protect themselves, their property, and their community.

Photo from video –

Lee Miller
Lee Miller was born in Denison, TX and grew up in East Texas with his family. He studied music education at Stephen F. Austin State University taking a job in television on his last day of student teaching. Lee also provides business authoritative expertise to the broadcast industry as a consultant. Presently he is CEO of MSG Resources LLC, which specializes in consulting within broadcast best practices, distribution technologies and media strategy mastery. - - - - - Lee Miller is a well-known veteran of the broadcast media industry with particular experience in leading for-profit and non-profit broadcasting organizations. His career began in Lufkin, Texas in the early 80’s where he progressed from studio operations to creative services and network management. Mr. Miller has since received various professional designations and memberships such as Society of Broadcast Engineers accredited frequency coordinator, The Energy Professionals Association Certified Energy Consultant, and National Religious Broadcasters Television Committee & past Chair. Lee also serves as the Executive Director of the Advanced Television Broadcasting Alliance, is a member of the Advanced Television Systems Committee and is proud to be part of Texas Association of Broadcasters Golden Mic Club, highlighting extraordinary careers in broadcasting. Continued engagement with his community is at the core of his business practices serving on the board of the Salvation Army and as keyboardist for the contemporary worship band at Harmony Hill Baptist Church. Lee lives near Lufkin Texas on one of his family’s tree farms located in the Texas Forest Country region north of Houston. He is married to Kenla and has two grown children, Joshua, COO of MSGPR Ltd Co and Morgan, a Critical Care ICU RN.

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