North Texans Use Social Media to Crowdsource Storm Recovery Help

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With thousands of North Texans still trying to repair storm damage, they’re often finding help in short supply.

That’s where an online community is stepping in, crowdsourcing everything from plumbers to cleanup crews.

Leia Scofield stumbled into it two weeks into her wait for a remediation team.

Though she never lost power at her north Dallas home, she said two pipes burst in her attic on the Tuesday of the storm.

Water touched just about every room in the house.

"It took eight days to get a plumber out, first of all,” said Scofield. "As far as finding someone who could do remediation and the whole mold mitigation from the water damage, our insurance company had recommended a vendor. We got on their list and waited and waited and waited,” said Scofield.

In the Facebook group DFW Pipe Burst Help, Scofield found more than 700 members.

Many were homeowners, like her, seeking help. Others were vendors giving notice when they had availability to do so.

It was started by public adjuster and CEO of Paradise Claims TJ Ware.

“In North Texas, there’s really no precedent. We’ve never had an event that essentially damaged the interior of so many buildings in such a short period of time like this. So people aren’t able to find enough contractors’ help. Insurance adjusters are delayed. Unfortunately, because of that, we’re seeing a lot of secondary damages setting into people’s homes and businesses,” said Ware.

Through working hurricanes, Ware said he’d learned social media could be a powerful tool.

"We've learned and realized that social media is one of the best mediums for people to be able to lend support, gain knowledge and gather resources after a natural disaster,” said Ware.

Here, vendors share the availability of both their time and the water remediation equipment that remains in high demand.

Meanwhile, homeowners seek advice on navigating insurance claims and find a one-stop-shop for the professionals they need.

“I posted Monday evening and we had someone here Tuesday morning,” said Scofield.

She said there’s still a long road ahead. But thanks to the power of community, she’s finally taken a big step in the right direction to getting her home back to normal.

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