Facing a flood, hurricane or any other type of disaster can be absolutely devastating. Often, people lose their homes, their loved ones and face challenging psychological effects.
In the aftermath of the event, it can feel like the world is on your shoulders. But if you keep calm and handle things step by step, you will make it through.
Here are seven things to do right away.
Check on Your Loved Ones
First of all, check up on your nearest and dearest to make sure that everyone is physically and mentally okay. Start by ensuring the safety of the more vulnerable people in your life – children, the elderly, and pets.
You could also check in with your neighbors to see if anyone needs emergency assistance.
Secure Your Property
After a disaster, your home may or may not be safe to live in. If it’s still standing, secure the property by making temporary repairs and keeping it locked up and protected from theft or vandalism.
If there is serious damage that needs repairs, you’ll need to contact disaster response services to have your home restored, but this will only take place after getting in touch with your insurance
Document the Damage
You’re going to need to be in touch with your insurance company soon, but before you talk to them, it’s helpful to document the state of your home immediately after the disaster – before anything has been removed, cleaned, or fixed up.
Take some pictures to submit as part of your claim when the time comes.
Grab Your Valuables
If you need to leave your home (either in an evacuation during the disaster or afterward), make sure to grab what’s most important to you.
Your most valuable possessions will depend on who you are and what matters most to you. You might opt for your most valuable items – laptops, jewelry, cell phones, etc. or more sentimental items like photographs or other things that you cherish.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Once you’re safe, clean and dry, and feeling calmer, you’ll need to start making practical plans. Start by getting in touch with your insurance company to tell them the situation and find out what you can claim.
Assessments will likely need to be made to your property before anything can be done, so getting the ball rolling ASAP is in your best interests.
Find Temporary Lodging
If your house needs serious repairs or you need to find a new home entirely, you’ll need to find temporary accommodation.
You could ask a friend or family member if they have room for you for a little while, or you could find out if your insurance will cover temporary lodging in a hotel or a short-term rental.
Start Planning Repairs
Depending on the state of your home, you’ll need to start getting in touch with restoration services to assess things and determine what needs to be done, how much it will cost, and all the other details.
This will be a difficult time to endure, so make sure you’re caring for your mental health throughout.