Home disasters, whether they are fires, floods, tornadoes, or hurricanes, can leave you devastated and unsure of which steps to take to repair your home. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to begin rebuilding your home and your life. Here are some things to keep in mind after disaster strikes.
Check Structural Integrity
Before going into your home to retrieve personal items or to assess the damage, you'll want to make sure that the home is structurally sound. Going into an unsafe home can result in injury, which can make recovering from the disaster that much more difficult. In the event of a widespread disaster throughout your community, your local government may hire structural engineers to inspect each home. For a disaster that impacts only your home, you may want to consider calling a contractor to perform an independent inspection.
There may be local or federal government programs available to help you restore your home, and in some cases, to provide temporary housing while your home is under repair. Check with the local government as well as government agencies, such as FEMA, for help. Remember to contact your homeowner's insurance carrier. You may have coverage that provides certain types of relief for you and your family, such as temporary housing or lost wage replacement. If you don't already have riders on your policy for these types of coverage, consider purchasing them in the event that a future home disaster strikes.
Hire A Restoration Company
A home disaster restoration company can help to determine which items in your home are still salvageable and which ones will need to be replaced. They can typically help with water removal from flooded homes, damaged drywall and flooring removal, installation of new flooring and drywall, and mold remediation services. Ask if upholstery cleaning is offered, as you may be able to save some of your furniture.
Make Lists Of Replacement Items
While you won't be able to replace everything you've lost from a sentimental standpoint, you will need to begin replacing essentials. Make several lists to cover each category of items that are needed. For example, one list might include toiletry and personal care items, while another might include replacement clothing for the family. Keeping the lists organized can help you to prioritize which items need to be purchased first. Go over your lists with your restoration company, as the contractors may be able to salvage some of your existing items. This may mean you won't have as many items to add to those lists.
Recovery may take some time, but being prepared and knowing where to turn for help can make it easier to get started on your disaster repairs.