Dealing with the emotional stress of a natural disaster is one thing, but dealing with the additional damage your home may have suffered is a big challenge as well. If you were well prepared, then the whole process will be much less difficult. However, the damage can be overwhelming, and it’s essential that you know the exact steps that you need to take to get back on your feet. Here are the steps you should take after your house has suffered storm damage.
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The first thing you have to do is make sure that you and your loved ones are safe. Some of the things you’ll have to pay special attention to include problems with your gas lines, flooding, downed power lines, and jagged windows. If you happen to smell any gas, do not come back into the house under any circumstances.
You should also make sure that you contact your local FEMA branch and see if you’re eligible for assistance. They may be able to help you with things like repairs, offer temporary shelter, or offer meals among other things.
If you’re sure that it’s safe to go inside, then you can go in and start inspecting the house as thoroughly as you can. However, you have to take the time to compose yourself as emotions could get the best of you and cloud your judgement. You might end up missing some important details, so make sure that you spend the time it takes in each room and document everything.
Documenting will play an essential role when it comes to filing for insurance, so make sure that you mark down any type of damage both to the interior and exterior of the house. For those who want to be better prepared for future claims, it also helps if you take pictures of the house before a storm hits so that insurers won’t question if you’re trying to get compensation for pre-existing damage.
Once you have everything marked down, it’s time to contact your insurance company. They will usually send an adjuster over to assess the damage. The company will then be able to tell you how much will be covered after you pay your deductible.
We strongly suggest that you stay away from storm chasers, and go with reputable companies. When picking a company, one of the first things you should look for is certification. Not only do you want them to have the proper license, but you should also look at some of the additional accreditation they’ve received.
For instance, groups like Advantage Construction are Angie’s list certified and an Owens Corning platinum preferred contractor. You should also try to work with a BBB accredited business. The BBB is an independent consumer rights organization that keeps track of consumer complaints against companies. Try to go with a company that is in good standing with the BBB, and has been accredited for a reasonable time.
Dealing with a storm can be difficult, but if you’re well prepared and know the proper steps to take, you’ll be able to get back on your feet faster. Make sure that you follow these few tips, and use all the resources at your disposal as well.