Hurricane Recovery Guide: First Steps to Take
If you live near the east coast, chances are you or someone you know was seriously affected by Hurricane Matthew. Matthew destroyed thousands of homes in its wake, caused record-breaking storm surges, and produced enough rain to fill a football stadium. It can be overwhelming for homeowners after that type of disaster, but it is important not to panic. Staying calm and having a plan in place will help you greatly reduce stress. There are some initial steps that you can take yourself, and others that will require professional contractors. It is vital to find a contractor that will get the job done right, but will also be fair and sympathize with you during this hard time. However, before you take that step, there are other important things to check off the list. What are the first steps to take after a hurricane like Matthew hits? Read on below…
Assess Your Surroundings
The damage to your property could be critical, which can create several dangerous hazards. Standing water and downed power lines can cause serious shock hazards. A broken gas line could potentially pose a deadly risk. Mold and mildew can build up in a home after flooding and cause long-term health problems. If you suspect the damage or flooding to be bad enough, it is a good idea to turn off your power just in case. Carefully inspect your entire property and ensure that there are no exposed wires, dangerous debris or other hazards.
Call Your Insurance Company
You should contact your insurance company immediately to file a claim and get an estimate for the damage. They will most likely have hundreds of people calling them after the storm, so be proactive and try to get it done as early as possible.
After you file a claim, make sure you take pictures of all the damage the property sustained. The insurance company will want to see some proof of the damage. Also, make a list of all items that were broken, missing, or destroyed and have photos of them handy.
Clean Up CAREFULLY
If you have properly assessed your home, you should clean up as soon as possible. Take steps to protect your home like soaking up standing water or patching any holes in the walls and ceiling. The experts will eventually come and do professional repairs on your home, but you want to make sure your home is protected from the elements in the meantime. If the home is damaged enough, it may not be safe enough to be inside. If that is the case, you’ll want to stay out of the house and wait to clean until you have professional help.
Call a Contractor
One of the most important things you can do after sustaining damage to your home is call an experienced contractor. The earlier the better because contracting companies will have many other clients asking for repairs. It’s important to note that not all contractors are created equal. Some do the bare minimum and call it a day, but some provide excellent service and a quote that works for your budget. The Hardy Group has been in St. Augustine for more than 30 years, and know first-hand the destruction that hurricanes can bring. If you need your home repaired after a hurricane, contact The Hardy Group online or at (904) 471-5800.
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