If your area gets hit by a particularly severe storm, everything it leaves behind can turn your domestic life on its head. Seeing the damage done to your house can be extremely overwhelming, and the task of getting it back to normal can be a heavy weight on your mind. Although the situation may be getting you down, careful planning and a proactive attitude will get things back on track as soon as possible. Here’s what to do following a storm.
As always, the safety of you and your family should come first. Your home may have been partially flooded, struck by lightning, or taken heavy damage from strong winds. Open areas of the home, mold, and live power lines can all be potential safety hazards. Unless you’re 110% sure that the damage isn’t too severe, then it’s usually best to leave your home until you can get a clearer evaluation. Call up some relatives or friends who may be willing to put you up, or look into staying at a hotel until you’ve got a full evaluation of the damage. In the worst case scenario, you can probably find a local emergency shelter to use. Take a few days’ worth of supplies, but don’t endanger yourself by retrieving anything from your house.
Once you know it’s safe to do so, you should make a start on documenting damage. This is especially important if your home insurance will only cover certain kinds of damage. Take several photos of any instances of damage, and be careful not to leave anything out. There’ll probably be some big, obvious damage to the exterior of the home. Aside from that, you need to document any mold, drywall damage or power lines that may have become exposed. As an extra precaution, try to dig out some pictures of your home in a normal, undamaged state. This may all sound a little much. However, having a lot of evidence will give you the best shot at your insurance coming through. You can find a more complete guide at What Happens Now.
Once all this is done, you can get started on the actual restoration process. If your insurance company will cover the damage in question, they’ll probably send over an adjuster to confirm everything, and hopefully approve your claim. If not, then you may have to go to a separate restoration company. These firms will send over trained inspectors to gather evidence, liaise with your insurer, and press them for a claim. They’ll also organize for contractors to come over and get to work on the damage that’s been done. Sometimes, if the storm only caused significant damage to one part of the home, restoration may be as simple as hiring a service like Texas Star Roofing. In the majority of cases though, it’s better to go for a claim.
Hopefully, you read this post as a precaution, and will never have to actually use it! However, if your home has taken heavy damage, I hope I’ve helped you turn it around quickly.