Money For Lunch – What to do After a Hurricane

What to do After a Hurricane

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2017 was the year of an unusual string of record-breaking hurricanes that wreaked havoc on the U.S. Gulf Coast, Puerto Rico, the eastern seaboard, and the Caribbean. Record numbers of people lost their homes.

Your home is one of your most prized possessions. It is where you spend time with your family and make memories with your loved ones.

There is nothing you can do to stop natural disasters like hurricanes, but there are some things you can do to prepare your family, your finances, and your home.

For instance, if your area is susceptible to natural hazards, you should make sure you have the proper insurance.

As far too many people have learned the hard way, hurricanes can do serious damage to your home and even totally obliterate it. The damage can range from minor to totally devastating.

How can you determine the extent of the damage to your home? Although you might not be able to see it, the hurricane could have seriously impacted the basic structure or foundation.

It would be a waste of time and money to try to start making repairs when you don’t have any idea the extent of any underlying damage.

Contact an expert in forensic reconstruction to help you assess the level and type of damage and to evaluate the hurricane’s impact on your home.

Once you know what you are dealing with, you can take the necessary first steps towards trying to get your home and your life back on track.

Contact Your Loved Ones

There is nothing worse than not knowing if your family members and friends are safe after they have been through a hurricane. Many social media sites will set up alerts where people can mark themselves “safe” to let others know.

If possible, be sure to let those who love and care about you know that you are alive, if you are hurt, and what damage has been done to your home.

Contact Your Insurance Company

The worst damage from hurricanes is usually from the water. Flooding from rising water, flooded rivers and lakes, and storm surge aren’t usually covered under standard home insurance.

If you live in an area that is prone to floods, you should purchase a separate flood insurance policy. In some areas, you might actually be required to have it.

Contact your insurance company as soon as you can after the hurricane. You will need to make a list of everything missing, destroyed, or damaged.

Taking photos of the damages can make the claims process run more smoothly. Your insurance company will send out an insurance adjuster to your property to assess the damage.

Clean with Caution

You might want to start cleaning up immediately after the hurricane is over because you want to start getting your life back to normal.

This can be very dangerous. If you are able to, you should turn off the power to your home safely so you don’t get an electric shock in standing water.

If there is major damage to your home, there might be other dangers as well. You can get hurt from exposed structural damage, broken glass, fallen trees, and an unstable structure. To be safe, don’t start any cleanup until a professional can help you assess the situation.

Beware of Power Lines

Look around you to see if there is a downed power line or a broken gas line as these are extremely dangerous.

It’s better to be safe than sorry, so even if you are not sure that there are any downed lines, you should call your utility company immediately.

Find a Place to Stay

If the damage to your home renders it uninhabitable, you will need to find somewhere to stay. This can be a challenge if others in your area also need to find accommodations. Check with family and friends first.

Also, check your community to see if local churches or community centers are being set up for at least temporary housing. Talk to your insurance company to find out if your accommodations are part of your plan.

It is emotionally, physically, and financially-draining to anyone suffering damage or loss from a hurricane. If your damage is severe, the recovery will take time.






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