A big storm can be a big deal. It can be dehumanizing. It can cause excessive damage to your yard, home, and belongings. You can never be too careful or overly prepared when it comes to dealing with disaster, and fire is no exception. Here is some advice you would do well to heed!
Be aware of your surroundings. Do not wade into high water (you do not know what is in there).
Do not use outlets or fixtures in wet rooms. Never mess with downed power lines, EVER. Do not try to move them with a stick, push them with a broom, or grab them with a gloved hand! Always believe that those power lines are still live. If a tree or other large debris landed on your house, do not attempt to move it. Contact your local power company ASAP and tell them the location of any downed lines or large objects on your property. This is especially important if there are any serious water leaks or dangerous electrical issues.
Document as much damage as possible (CELL PHONES ARE GREAT FOR THIS). Get all of your important documents together. You will need receipts and warranties, any policy numbers and your policy if possible. Contact your insurance agent to get remediation referrals, and begin the claim process ASAP. Make a list…check it twice. Write down everything you believe to be effected by the storm, whether lost or damaged. Mention EVERYTHING, no matter how trivial you consider it. Today’s water spot could be tomorrows collapsed ceiling.
Stop the destruction
If possible, prevent further damage by locating the source of the water. Cover any smashed windows and patch any holes in your roof with plastic or tarps.
If you can’t stay, shut it down
If you find that for whatever reason you cannot stay in your home due to damages make sure to call your utility companies and suspend your services. There is no reason to be charged for something you are not/cannot use.
Find reliable help
Whether you need a smoke/water damage repair company, furniture refinishers, or a reliable contractor, remember, at a time like this you and your family is vulnerable. Unfortunately, there are those companies that will take advantage of your situation. Depend on referrals from your agent, as well as trusted friends and family before hiring anyone. Research each potential contractor by asking the Better Business Bureau and checking with your local and state government to ensure it has all of the correct licenses to do the work necessary. A Trusted and accredited company to help you at a time like this is one of the most valuable tools you can have in your arsenal to full recovery. Do not try to be brave and ‘go it alone” there is no embarrassment is seeking out help when it comes to you an important investment like your home. It is the place you store your precious belongings, and depend on for the safety of your family. Trust it to a certified company who employs reliable and professional technicians.