What should I do after a hurricane?

Posted by Matt Buchanan

The days and weeks after a hurricane damages your home and neighborhood are incredibly difficult, both from an emotional standpoint as well as a physical one. There can be so many emotions running through a person’s mind in those days that many victims often feel paralyzed about what to do next. As a nationwide flood restoration service, we deal with these natural disasters often and know all too well what you’re going through. Our country was just hit with 2 of the most devastating hurricanes we’ve ever seen, and for them to happen within a couple of weeks is unprecedented. But as regional and national resources are put in place to begin the rebuild process, it’s important for you as a homeowner to understand there are things you can do to begin the difficult task of getting your property and your life back to normal.

 

When should I return home?

 

Often times returning home is dictated by local government agencies. In many instances, there are immediate health threats that make it incredibly unsafe to return home. Whether it’s downed power lines, or the presence of flood waters that are highly contaminated, in many disaster areas it’s simply not feasible to have people wandering around in. It’s always advised that you check your local government’s web site in order to receive up to date information regarding the cleanup efforts along with recommendations regarding your return.

 

Will my home’s damage be covered by insurance?

 

This is the most common question homeowners typically have when they return to survey the damage to their home. If the damage is severe, it’s clear it’s going to cost a lot of money to get the property back to its previous condition. We can’t offer a blanket yes or no answer to this question, because every insurer’s policy is different and every homeowners’ situation is different. But what we can do is outline some of the factors that may help you get to an answer more easily. That said, we always recommend you immediately reach out to your insurer to speak with them about your house damage directly.

 

Do you have flood insurance?

If you live in an area that is prone to flooding and you took out a mortgage for your home, you’ll often be required to carry flood insurance. In the event you do have this additional coverage, you’re most likely covered for the cost of the damages.

 

Do you have significant wind damage?

In the event you only have homeowners insurance and your house flooded due to a hurricane, you’re most likely not covered for the cost of the flood damage. With that said, you may be covered for other damage the occurred, such as roof damage, broken windows, siding, etc. That said, some insurers do not cover wind damage in area susceptible to hurricanes. So again, you’ll need to check with your insurer to find out what’s covered.

 

Should I wait to start getting my home fixed?

 

This is one thing that often trips up homeowners that suffer any type of water damage, whether it’s from a broken pipe or a hurricane. The answer is quite simply ‘no.’ You should never delay the process of cleaning up and restoring your home. That’s especially true when it comes to a natural disaster like a hurricane. Under normal circumstances it might take an adjuster a couple of days to come assess your property. But in the event of a massive natural disaster, insurers become overwhelmed with claims and it often times takes weeks for them to respond. That’s more time for the effects of the flood to cause even more damage to your property.

We always recommend you contact us or another certified flood restoration company immediately to begin assessing your options and to begin the cleanup efforts. You’ll end up being able to salvage more of your property and possessions and reduce the cost of the cleanup effort!

About Matt Buchanan

I grew up in Irving, TX and left for Nashville, TN for college. After college I lived in Washington, DC and then in Cairo, Egypt. After coming back to the states, I spent a couple of years back in Dallas before moving with my wife to Denver!

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