In August 2022, many parts of Pakistan were devastated by an unprecedented flood. The flooding caused a heavy loss to physical infrastructure and forced a massive evacuation. This preliminary phenomenological study was conducted to gain an understanding of meanings of this traumatic experience. The participants were asked to share the meanings of their experiences with regard to flood preparedness, evacuation, sheltering and recovery. Data were collected by field visits, observation and conducting in-depth interviews. Convenient sampling technique was adopted to reach the participants. Data analysis uncovered five essential themes making the essence of the flood experiences. These are (1) confusion and undecidedness (2) chaos and selfishness (3) shame and guilt (4) shock and disbelief (5) hopefulness and expectations. The findings of the study reflect how the meanings of traumatic experience can shape important decisions such as evacuations, asking for help, sheltering and prospects of rehabilitation and recovery.