We can never imagine disaster hitting our homes, but when disaster hits, it usually hits hard and when we least expect it. It’s easy to fall to panic and despair when being faced with property damage and getting back on your two feet is not always simple. However, if you know the proper steps to take after a disaster situation, you might be able to get your life back on track faster. Here are the first things you should do if you property has been hit by a natural disaster.
The time just after you’ve been hit by a storm can be traumatic and stressful, however, there are tons of resources at the federal level for victims. The first people you should call are FEMA. They offer all types of assistance such as grants and low interest loans and temporary housing as well as counseling for those dealing with trauma. Contacting FEMA will allow you to take care of your personal safety first before your start dealing with the damage to your property.
Call Your Insurance Company
The second phone call you will need to make is to your insurance company. The most important thing when trying to file a claim is to be as descriptive as you can with your agent. You have to tell them the nature of the damage, how and when it happened, where the damage is, and which type of natural disaster caused it.
Try to get as many visuals as you can and don’t hesitate to take pictures and videos to give your agent a clearer picture of the extent of the damage. Also, make sure you file as soon as possible if you don’t want to affect your eligibility. Make sure you document everything before you hire emergency cleaning services so they can see the full extent of the damage.
Again, if you’re having issues with your settlement, don’t panic, FEMA can help. They can provide a short-term loan if your settlement is delayed past 30 days. However, you’ll have to repay the loan once you get your settlement. FEMA may also help if your settlement is not enough to cover completely for the damaged your property suffered.
Consider Rebuilding or Moving
This is probably the hardest part. Do you stay in the same home or relocate completely? You may want to stay in the same home for emotional reasons, but you also have to deal with the possibility of disaster striking again in the future.
If you do decide to rebuild, then you should consider working with a contractor with experience with this type of damage. Go with someone who’s reputable and try to get a clear estimate. Sometimes, it may be wiser to move and go somewhere that is less likely to be hit than spend too much on repair.
Dealing with natural disasters is never easy, but hopefully, there are plenty of resources at your service. If you do happen to be dealing with property loss or live somewhere that is prone to natural disasters, make sure that you keep these few tips in mind so that you’ll be prepared for any event.