Turn Around Your Home After a Hurricane
A hurricane can devastate your home. Sometimes, they can pass without causing too much damage, and it’s not too hard to repair everything. However, hurricanes with higher category ratings can do a whole lot of damage and might mean you need to evacuate your home. When the hurricane is over, cleaning up can be just as stressful as dealing with the disaster itself. You’re not sure where to start or how long it’s going to take you to get your home back to normal. Even though it might look like you have a huge task ahead of you, the sooner you begin, the quicker you can have your home back. To start doing some damage control, get started on the following things.
Document the Damage
Hopefully, your home is insured against any damage caused by flooding or other natural disasters. If you’re getting ready to call your insurance provider, you might want to start by documenting any damage that has been caused. Your insurance provider will want evidence of what has happened so they can work on your claim. You can document everything by taking photos and making notes. Sometimes, insurance companies also want to send someone out to personally check everything. Remember to stay safe while you’re documenting things. It’s often best to switch off your electricity, water, and gas to make your home safer.
Carry Out Emergency Repair
If there are any really pressing matters, don’t wait until after you’ve called your insurance provider to take care of them. You need to get them sorted out straight away to make your home safer. For example, you might need to repair a door so that your home is secure. You can’t stay there if it’s easy for someone to break in. If there are any broken water pipes, you might want to call someone to come and repair them. You should be able to find emergency contractors to call out, but be aware that you’re not the only one affected by the hurricane. You might have a wait a bit longer than usual.
Prevent Further Damage
Your home has already been damaged, and you don’t want it to get worse. So one of the first things you can do is take steps to prevent further damage from occurring. Open up your home to ventilate it by opening doors and window. Having fresh air circulating will help to get rid of stale air and odors, and can help start the drying process too. Get rid of any debris or anything that shouldn’t be in your home. You might want to do some minor repairs yourself, like patching up holes. And, of course, draining any standing water is also a top priority.
Repair Water Damage
Flooding can cause a lot of damage to your home. The longer you leave it, the worse it could get. Not only have you got to dry everything out, but you’re likely to have some repairs that need tending to as well. If you need help after a flood, using a professional service that specializes in water damage restorations is your best bet. They can take care of everything for you, and they know the best ways to deal with it all. Someone can come to your home and assess the damage before offering you a quote. Check your insurance policy to see if the cost of repair is covered by your policy.
Protect Yourself During Cleanup
If you’re doing some or even all of the cleanup yourself, make sure you protect yourself. You should wear protective clothing, and also make sure to wash your hands often. You might also want to wear masks, especially if mold or mildew could make you ill. Be vigilant about anything that could cause problems, from poisons to gas leaks. You should also throw out any food or medication you that has been left in the home, as it could be contaminated. In some places, you also need to be careful about animals, including snakes, alligators, and insects.
Call Your Insurance Company
Get hold of your insurance company as soon as you can to file a claim. You don’t have to do it right away, but as soon as you are able to get organized, give them a call. You can also often file a claim online if you have internet access. Before you get in touch, it’s a good idea to look over your policy so that you know what it does and doesn’t cover. You should also know your deductible and other numbers, so you’re familiar with everything. You need to put yourself in a strong position to get what you’re entitled to. If you know what you’re talking about, your insurance provider can’t pay out less than you deserve.
Find Somewhere to Stay
Sometimes, your home might not be habitable until you’ve made some repairs. It’s not ideal, but it’s better to stay somewhere else than to remain in a dangerous home. If you need somewhere else to stay, you might be able to stay with family members or friends. However, sometimes paying for temporary accommodation is your best choice. Your insurance provider might be able to cover the cost of this, so check your policy to see if it’s something they will pay for.
Look for Financial Assistance
Your home insurance might help to cover some of the costs of your repairs. However, it won’t always help to pay for everything. There might be extra financial assistance available from elsewhere, especially if the hurricane was serious enough to declare your town a disaster area. There could be federal or state assistance available from a number of programs. Another option is charitable organizations, which might be able to offer practical help with cleaning up, supplies you might need and perhaps even shelter. The American Red Cross, Salvation Army, and various church groups often help out.
Cleaning up after a hurricane can seem pretty daunting, but the sooner you get started, the sooner you can get back in your home. Look for all the help you can so you have assistance to get back on your feet.