Hurricane Harvey recently hit the Texas Coast, leaving a tragic loss of human life and devastating property damage in its wake. Whether you and your family experienced this frightening superstorm personally or other disaster, the first thing you think about is: What do I do now? At Property Loss Doctors, we’re here to help you get your life back together as quickly and smoothly as possible.
With all the media coverage surrounding this storm, it’s a good time to remind everyone of what you should do after disaster strikes.
The top five things to do after a disaster:
1. Contact your loved ones. You’ll want to get in touch with family and friends to let them know you are safe and to check on their well-being. Those outside the affected area can provide you with more information about the aftermath of catastrophic events like Hurricane Sandy or give you any help you may need if your electricity is still out.
2. Check your surroundings. A broken gas line or a downed overhead power line can be a serious hazard after a disaster. Call the utility company right away to address the issue, and keep away from the hazard until a crew arrives to fix the problem.
3. Major damage? Be Careful Before You Clean.It’s natural to want to start cleaning up your home and getting life back to normal as soon as possible, but be careful — cleanup after a major weather event or other disaster can be dangerous. Standing water from flooding can create an electric shock hazard. It is important to turn off the power to your home if you can do so safely. Fallen trees, exposed structural damage, broken glass and other debris can pose a myriad of dangers too. An unstable structure is dangerous. If it looks like your home fits this category, do not attempt to cleanup and remove the debris yourself. Wait for professional help to arrive. If a major event like Hurricane Sandy damages your home, find a safe place to stay until you can get your house professionally cleaned up and restored.
4 Contact your insurance company. You’ll want to get in touch with your insurance company immediately to get a damage assessment and submit a claim. During the claim filing process, your insurance company will ask you for a list of everything destroyed, damaged or missing. If you don’t have a home inventory list, walk from room to room and create the list from memory, including brand names, prices, and when and where the item was purchased, if possible.
5. Emergency situation? Contact a restoration company as soon as you can. Remember that most insurance policies require you to do what you can to stop the damage to your home. Don’t wait for a contractor to knock on your door and offer you a quote—there will be all kinds of repair companies coming through your town after a hurricane or other disaster. Be proactive in calling a trained and certified emergency services and / or restoration company that specializes in repairing the specific type of damage your home sustained from disasters like Hurricane Harvey.