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The flooding at Nina Wallis’ home in Kingston, Oklahoma, in May 2015 could not have come at a worse time.

Her husband had been living in their other home in Texas but planned to soon retire and join his wife at their residence overlooking Lake Texoma. His death less than three months before the flooding left Nina, then 65, in shock. It also left her in bad shape financially.

When the flood came, waters topped the Lake Texoma spillway for the fourth time in 58 years and poured into her community. At her home, it almost reached her windowsill. A few weeks later, a storm caused her house to flood again and broke windows and patio doors.

Fortunately, many organizations and people came to her aid:

  • The American Red Cross visited several times, providing cleanup kits and water.
  • Neighbors supplied other equipment she could use for the cleanup.
  • Baptist church volunteers gutted the damaged part of the house and supplied her with new doors.
  • The county supplied dumpsters and hauled away the debris and other discarded items.
  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) arrived to talk to residents about their eligibility for financial assistance. Nina later received $22,000 in FEMA disaster relief aid (well above the FEMA average).

Nina also hired a carpenter who had done work for her before to cut drywall, pull up carpet, and take other steps to prevent mold from forming. Nina considered avoiding mold the most important thing, since it would have posed a risk to her health.

With the FEMA money, and about $30,000 of her own, she restored her home. She still cherishes the location and view, although she is more aware now of the risk. She’s also thankful for the way that organizations and people responded.

“I certainly appreciate every bit of help I got,” Nina says. “So many cared in some way. Outside resources were a lifesaver.”

Use our website to find organizations and resources that could help you.

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