What to do when your home is damaged in a storm?

Before the storm:

  • Listen to the radio, surf the Internet or watch TV to stay up to date on the weather in the days ahead. Know when to prepare and give yourself enough time to do what needs to be done.

  • Talk about this with your family. Everyone needs to be up to date and informed on what to do when disaster strikes.

  • Make a plan if you can stay home or need to go to a safer place.

  • Stock up on emergency supplies. There’s a big chance you can’t cross the street and grocery stores aren’t open. Be self-sufficient during rainy days. Make sure you have all the basic necessities to survive each day until the weather improves.

  • Have a non-electric analog telephone or fully charged mobile phones in case of emergency during a power outage.

  • Listen to local authorities on what to do. If you stayed home and were ordered to evacuate, follow them.

  • Shut off the water to prevent flooding from damaged pipes.

  • Shut off the gas to prevent leaks.

  • Identify the best way to escape your home and let everyone in the family know where you will meet when worse things happen.

During the storm: (if you stay home).

  • Listen to the news on the radio or TV for weather conditions and updates.

  • Do not immediately go outside, even if the storm subsides. The winds can still be dangerous.

  • Stay away from all windows or any part of your house where any broken glass could be harmful. Even if you prepare a first aid kit, it is better if it can prevent any injuries.

  • If there is a power outage, turn off all electrical appliances to prevent further damage from a power surge.

  • Evacuate if you misjudged your home’s ability to withstand a storm. Go to your neighbor’s house or anywhere nearby where you feel safe.

  • Avoid the use of any electrical equipment.

  • Stay in touch with everyone in your family.

After the storm:

  • When power returns to your community, do not turn on all major appliances at the same time to minimize damage to energy-sensitive equipment.

  • Be careful of your surroundings. See which places are safe to walk and know when it’s the right time to clean your house and backyard. Ladders, stairs can be wet and slippery and can cause some harm to any member of the family.

  • Make sure your food is safe. Know what you can eat without refrigeration and make sure your water is enough.

  • Be careful when handling the equipment to clean your environment.

  • If you can’t repair serious damage to your home, hire some repair contractors.

  • Consider dealing with insurance companies after documenting all damage to your home.

Insurance Reminders:

  • Document everything that happened in your house. Take photos as evidence and make a list of items that are damaged before cleaning up any messes.

  • Read your insurance policy carefully to see what is and is not included before calling them.

  • Be resourceful about how you will communicate with your insurance company. Don’t rely on a few contact details.

Reminders for Hiring Contractors:

  • Check your insurance policy first, except for emergency repairs.

  • Don’t immediately hire anyone. It is better to work with someone you trust.

  • Check your budget and see how much you can afford.

  • Be patient when contacting, because you are not the only one who wants to take advantage of their repair services.

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