Reconstruir, en todo el sentido de la palabra.

Tras el paso del huracán María, miles de familias regresaron a sus casas para encontrarlas total o parcialmente destruidas, ya sea por los vientos o por el agua que entró a sus casas y, en muchos casos, destruyó todo a su paso. Reconstruir parecería casi un lujo en estos momentos en que todo parece estar perdido. Sin embargo, es de gran importancia aprovechar las circunstancias para no solo levantar lo que haya caído, sino analizar cómo podemos fortalecer las estructuras para que en el futuro, estemos mejor preparados para desastres naturales como el que vivimos hace apenas dos semanas.

Pero primero, se deben seguir una serie de pasos para estar seguros de que su hogar ya está listo para ser habitable nuevamente.

El primer paso, y tal vez el más importante, es documentarlo TODO antes de comenzar a desechar lo que haya quedado destruido. Recuerda que esta es la evidencia que debes presentarle a tu asegurador y agencias como FEMA.

Si aún tienes agua en tu hogar, debes internar removerla en 48 horas o menos para minimizar los daños a estructura y enseres. Para acelerar el proceso, puedes utilizar una bomba y baldes vacíos para remover agua acumulada.

Diesel powered water pump in floods disaster

Diesel powered water pump in floods disaster

 

Desechar todo lo que se haya mojado es esencial, pero también una de las partes más difíciles. Aunque existe la maquinaria para extraer humedad de ropa, alfombras y artículos electrónicos, es muy probable que no estén a nuestro alcance, por lo que disponer de pertenencias mojadas es la mejor opción.

Disaster

 

A la misma vez, se debe identificar todo lo que no fue destruido por el agua que se coló en el hogar. Enseres electrónicos podrían funcionar luego de haberse secado, por lo que recomendamos conservarlos varias semanas después del evento, y solo conectarlos a la electricidad cuando estemos seguros de que han secado bien.

Flooded vintage interior. 3d concept

Flooded vintage interior. 3d concept

 

Existe la posibilidad de que las puertas de madera también deban ser reemplazadas, pues tienen a expandirse tras contacto con el agua. Esto las haría inservibles, además de inundar la casa o habitaciones con un insoportable olor a humedad y acumulación de moho. Si son puertas de metal, es muy probable que hayan sobrevivido a las inundaciones.

door handle, closeup view

door handle, closeup view

 

Una vez hayas desechado todo lo que perdiste y los suelos se hayan secado (no debe ser un problema en Puerto Rico, donde los pisos son en cemento), es hora de desinfectar el hogar. Es vital deshacerse de cualquier moho o “limo” verde que se haya formado por el agua aposada. Comenzar remodelaciones sin haber secado o desinfectado antes aumentaría el riesgo a la salud de los miembros del hogar.

Damage caused by damp on a wall in modern house

Damage caused by damp on a wall in modern house

 

Para remodelar, se recomienda solicitar los servicios de un contratista. Sin embargo, un electricista podría ser más conveniente para la reparación del sistema eléctrico que puedan provocar otros daños a la estructura. Un electricista podrá informarte si es necesario reemplazar paneles de servicios y receptáculos, entre otras cosas.

Una vez los daños estructurales de mayor urgencia hayan sido reparados, podrás empezar a pensar en re-amueblar tu hogar, pero sabemos que este es un proceso más costoso. Pensando en el futuro, se recomienda evitar muebles en madera prensada, pues tiende a expandirse con el agua y la humedad. Enseres altos y en metal podrían ser más resistentes a este tipo de eventos, siempre y cuando los niveles de agua dentro del hogar no excedan un pie de alto.

 

 

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