Unfortunately, natural disasters are occurring at a higher rate now than ever before. Not only are there more of them, but many are more powerful than ever. While not everyone deals with a flood, earthquake, fire or hurricane, there is always a chance. So what are you to do if your area is affected by one of these horrific events? Of course, it is most important to protect yourself and your family, so the first thing to do is keep yourself safe. Depending on the disaster, this could mean to evacuate or could be to hide. But if the disaster is over and your home is still (thankfully) standing and everyone is okay, you are now responsible for taking care of your home. This article is going to look at a few things you should do to take care of your home when disaster strikes.
Carefully Inspect the Home and Look for Damage or Issues
Once it is safe to return to your home or to come out of the basement, it’s time to assess the damage. The type and amount of damage you have will depend on the natural disaster, but the damage could be plentiful. In fact, in 2017 alone, natural disasters in the USA did more than $300 billion worth of damage.
You need to take a look around your home and keep track of all of the damage the disaster did. This includes damage to walls, ceilings, floors, furniture, and electronics. Of course, it is important to be careful here as there could be glass, nails and other potentially harmful things anywhere. The last thing you need in a stressful time like this is to get hurt by something like a piece of wood or drywall falling. So assess the damage but do so without putting yourself in harm’s way.
Contact Insurance Agency or Legal Representation
Once you have an idea about the damage your home has, it is a good idea to reach out to your insurance provider and let them know. If the disaster is large enough, they likely know. But either way, it is good to get the ball rolling on fixing the home or seeing what your options are and what is covered.
While this might not immediately be an option, you should also keep an eye out for any class action lawsuits against a company that could have been partially responsible for the disaster. Many natural disasters occur thanks to nature, but others could be somewhat caused by the negligence of a company.
For example, many of the 2017 California fires (the ones in North Bay), were believed to be a result of the improper maintenance of electric infrastructure by PG&E. As a result, PGE lawsuit attorneys have pursued legal action against the company for the victims of the fires. While you shouldn’t bank on a lawsuit to fix the problem, it is definitely something to consider if the option arises.
Remain Cautious and Fix/Save What You Can
While the disaster is over, you are not out of the water yet. It is common for things like flood water, aftershocks and other things to linger for a while after the initial disaster. As a result, be sure to stay cautious in the following hours and days after a disaster. Something could have been damaged that you missed or the damage doesn’t show itself until a few days later.
While the insurance might handle most of the damage, this isn’t always the case. It couldn’t hurt to go around the home and save or fix what you can. Of course, only do so if you’re comfortable with doing it. Also, make sure you take a look at your food. There is a good chance that fire or water damage could have damaged a lot of your food supply. Make sure the water and electricity are safe to use as well. While the disaster is done, it is still good to be safe and take every precaution possible.
Hopefully, this article has helped you learn some things that you should do to take care of your home if a disaster strikes.