You did it.
Maybe you left your hometown to escape the storm, or you bunkered down and waited out the rain, either way, the eye of the hurricane is passed and you’re left to pick up the pieces.
So how do we move forward?
Check-in with loved ones.
First and foremost – connect with family members who may have been in different parts of the area to make sure everyone is safe. Check-in on your neighbors and friends. Mark yourself as “safe” on social media accounts. Whatever you can do to connect with others.
Inspect your property.
Assess the damage. Once your home or workplace is safe-to-enter, carefully walk the perimeter to check for any down power lines, gas leaks, or structural damage.
Document, document, document.
Next, document and photograph everything. We mean everything. The more you have to submit to an insurance agency, the easier your claim process will go. Understandably, only do this is you are allowed into your home, workplace, or the affected area. No photo is worth putting yourself at risk.
Mitigate the damage.
Once you’ve submitted a claim to your agency, try to mitigate the most damage as possible, move your belongings to a drier part of the house. If you’re cleared to use electricity, plug-in fans and let them run, or, if you need to get some humidity out but can not use electric, open up the windows.
Special note: if you plan on using a portable generator for electricity, keep it outside of the home or workplace. Did you know one of the leading causes of death after intense storms is due to carbon monoxide poisoning?
Apply for Aid.
You can’t receive help if you don’t ask. This goes for those even with flood insurance or special hurricane insurance. FEMA is whom you’ll want to contact for claims. When you reach out, you’ll receive a claim number. Keep that safe; you might need it again.
Take time to pick the right company to rebuild your home. Many scam artists come out during times of extreme distress, so use your right to be picky! Ask to see verifications and never give money out upfront before work.
Going through the aftermath of an aggressive storm seems like a never-ending ordeal, but, by staying on top of your rebuilding stage, you can eliminate or lessen all the headache.