Now What? Rebuilding Post Natural Disaster

June 9, 2015:

Leigh Spicher

Post-natural disaster conversation is rampant in coastal areas during certain times of the year, due to the devastation that many areas face because of hurricane season.After our forced mini vacations and then “mucking” homes, the question finally arrives— “Now what?”.  I’ve seen many offering advice, both good and bad, and, of course, the ones I zero in on are design-related. I’ve seen bad and good advice shared all over the Internet and, of course, the ones I zero-in on are design-related.Today, I’m happy to share with you my favorite piece of advice— the one addressing that “Now what?” question so many are asking. Today, I’m happy to share with you my favorite piece of advice— the one addressing that “Now what?” question so many ask after surviving a natural disaster.The advice I found and clung to was “Now is the time!”. With regards to design, this means now is the time you evaluate. What did you love about your home? What did you hate? My home was spared any damage, but my parents’ home was not. Working through these questions with them helped us learn a few things. They loved their family areas, but they hated some of the cabinet details. They needed drawers where there were doors. They needed cased openings instead of swinging doors. They needed a built in microwave and a vent hood for the kind of cooking they do instead of the microwave above the cooktop. They loved their large utility room, but hated that there was not a broom closet and that the sink area was crowded and not functional. These are things they would have lived with until they left this home, but now a hurricane, a natural disaster and personal tragedy, has their home stripped to the studs. They may have been left with an involuntary remodel, but in focusing on turning a negative into a positive, what better time to do some soul searching? Now is the time to add or remove that window, move that wall, reconfigure that kitchen. These major changes that on any normal day or week would be overwhelming to consider are now possible.When the whole project seems formidable, break it down. Answer those questions one at a time, one room at a time: What did I love? What did I hate? Now what do I want to change?

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