Hurricane Sandy Exposed Hoarders
Hoarding happens in silence. People who suffer from hoarding disorders usually do not allow people into their homes. They quite often shut friends and family out of their homes and lives due to the intense shame they feel towards the condition of their home. Oftentimes it takes a disaster to expose a hoard and his or her hoarding problem.
According to USA Today, it took Hurricane Sandy to uncover a hoarding problem:
When Hurricane Sandy dumped its fury on New Jersey last October, it also exposed a problem many say has been growing here for years: hoarding.
“Usually hoarders won’t allow people in their houses,” said David Haggerty, director of senior services for Family Service of Morris County, a Morristown-based human services non-profit.
“But after the storm hit, many had no choice but to allow professionals like fire and emergency workers access,” he added. “So a lot of cases of hoarding came out of the woodwork.”
And the worst part is that now hoarding is slowing down disaster clean up efforts.
Two Family Service intensive senior support care managers, Susan Donald and Laura Wrublevski, explained the stalemate: the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is asking hoarders to clean out their stuff so it can bring in people to remediate mold and other flood-related conditions.
“At the same time,” Wrublevski said, “there isn’t support to help hoarders sit, sort and pare down their hoards.”
“That’s the problem right now,” Donald explained. “FEMA, or other groups willing to help people affected by Sandy, have a role to play. Their role is not to clean up a home that has been collecting for 30 or 40 years. Their role is to take care of the damage as a result of Sandy.”
If you, a loved one, or a tenant need help cleaning up after a hoarder call Green Clean Junk Removal Services. Green Clean Junk Removal Services offers hoarder junk removal services to both Los Angeles and New York (including areas of New York affected by Sandy). We can also help direct you towards counseling to deal with the underlying mental illness that causes hoarding.