What to Do When Your Home Sustains Hurricane Damage

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Every year there are dozens of hurricanes in the United States alone, and the property damage can be as high as several billion dollars. In case of a hurricane, you need to know what you should do if your home gets hit, and you need to know how to act and what are the steps you have to take to protect you and your family.

Here we are going to give you some tips on what you can do to make sure that you prevent any additional damage, where to look for help and how to keep your family safe.

Safety is a priority

Source: PropertyCasualty360

After a hurricane or a flood, the first thing you need to do is make sure you are safe. If there was consequential damage, then you need to be aware of the hazard around you.

Power lines and broken trees are the main two hazardous things you need to be aware of. Stay away from the water, and report the issues to the authorities as soon as possible. Mold is extremely risky as well, especially if the repairs are not done correctly. Experts suggest that you should leave your home as soon as possible, especially if there are a lot of things that were destructed during the storm.

If you decide to stay there, always boil the water until you are advised that the water is safe to drink. There are a lot of harmful bacteria in the pipes and the water lines, especially when they are flooded, so boil the water even if you want to shower.

Once the water is gone and your home is safer to stay in, you can start with the next steps.

Property damage

Source: The Wall Street Journal

When you are safe and secure, you need to take pictures of the damage that was done to your home. Take as many pictures and videos as you can, and if possible, try to catch wider angles. It would be best if you could record both the inside and the outside of your property, so you can show the insurance company what happened to your house. Do this before you start cleaning and before you move any objects around. Once again, your safety is your priority, but once you are safe you have to act fast so you can prove your case.

In case you decide to move objects around to prevent additional destruction, try and take pictures of why you had to do that. If it is not safe for you to worry about the documentation process, try to remember the things you moved or removed from your home so you can notice the agents and the authority.

The Claim Squad suggests that no matter how big or small the damage is, you need to take the right actions so you can win your property damage claim. Be careful with your insurance company, and if needed, contact a public adjuster to help you win your case. The fee on the final settlement can make a huge difference, so you should be extremely careful when it comes to the company you choose to trust.

Temporary repairs

Source: 3BL Media

Once you are done with the documentation, you need to make some temporary repairs to your home. These things will prevent the damage to spread and they can help with mold and other bacteria that will show if you don’t take care of the flooded spaces right away.

You need to wear protective gear, and you away have to wear at least a mask and gloves. Don’t touch anything with your bare hands, and in case you cut yourself, no matter how small the cut is, you have to go to the ER and get the needed shots.

If your basement or other rooms in your home were flooded, you have to pump the water out and try and dry all the floors. In case you have wooden floors, you have to act really fast because if the water penetrates the wood, you risk it rising and creating irreparable damage.

Remove the debris from inside your home and on your property, and if you notice any broken glass or windows, clean the sharp objects right away and see if you can patch things up until you are able to fully repair them.

In this part, it is always best to collect all of your valuables and documents in one place and try to carry that bag with you everywhere. In some cases, the damage can be so excessive that the homeowners have to temporarily move somewhere else until the repairs are done. Don’t try to carry things with you that you don’t need, but if you keep jewelry or cash in your house, pack it and take it with you.

Ask for assistance

Source: Homeland Security Today

In case your property was distracted severely, you should ask for assistance from the federal emergency management agencies in your location. These services can help you find a place to stay and they can offer you a temporary location where you and your family can stay while the repairs are being done.

They will also help you with any medical emergencies, housing, and even repairs and insurance claims. Most of these services will be scouting your area, especially if there was a lot of damage in the whole neighborhood, so you can easily find them or contact them after a hurricane.

Insurance

Source: Insurance Journal

Once you are all settled and safe, you need to contact the insurance company. Have all the documents, images, and videos ready, and if something goes wrong, you can always contact your attorney or the public adjuster. You should know that most attorneys usually take a fee of about 40% on the final settlement, and the public adjuster will take 10-20%, so if you want to make the best out of this situation, be extremely careful about the documents you sign and people you hire.

Sometimes insurance companies try to find loopholes and not pay you the expected amount of money, but you should never give up and let them have it their way. There are services you can contact that will help you win the case.

Staying safe after a hurricane is the most important thing. As long as you and your family are okay, the financial damage can be repaired and things can be restored. Take things one step at a time and always be in contact with the right services. Professional help can make a lot of difference, so don’t be afraid to ask for assistance every step of the way.

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