Hurricanes are no joke. 285 weather disasters have caused at least one billion dollars worth of damage since 1980. Hurricanes have produced the majority of these disasters, leaving behind nearly one trillion dollars worth of damage.
If a hurricane barrels down on your hometown, you should expect your home to sustain a lot of hurricane damage. But you are not helpless after the storm passes.
What should you do once you hear you have hurricane damage? How can you keep yourself safe? What repairs should you make?
Answer these questions and you can bring your home back to normal in no time. Here are five steps you should follow.
1. Assess the Situation
If your home has been damaged by a hurricane, your neighborhood has probably been damaged as well. Do not go home until you know that your neighborhood is secure. Check the news to see if there is any flooding, looting, or electricity outages in your neighborhood.
Once you arrive home, you should see what kind of damage you have. If your home is at risk of collapsing, you should not step foot inside.
2. Reach Out to People
You should first call your friends and family and tell them that you are okay. Once everyone you love knows how you are, you should call your home insurer. Tell them about what damage you notice and tell them where you will be staying in the short term.
3. Document the Hurricane Damage
Take photographs of every part of your home, even the parts that don’t seem damaged. Go into your backyard and take images of your lawn, garage, and fencing. Your insurer can compensate you for your damaged exterior property.
If it’s safe to go inside, you should go inside and evaluate how your items are. Write a list of everything that has been damaged or stolen.
4. Move Somewhere Else
It may take days to repair hurricane damage. In the meantime, you should live somewhere else, even if you think your home will not collapse. Floodwater can bring in bacteria and mold, which can infect you.
The National Guard and the Red Cross may have temporary shelters where you can live until your home is fixed. Talk to your local government and see what housing is available to you.
5. Fix Hurricane Damage
Though you shouldn’t move in, you should make some minor repairs. If your windows are broken, you should put plywood boards over them. This will keep animals and debris from flying into your house.
If you need to go into your house, you should wear gloves and a respirator. You can also ask a first responder with a hazmat suit to go inside and make some small repairs.
Follow the Best Hurricane Damage Advice
You need to follow a few steps in order to deal with hurricane damage. Do not go back home until you know you will be safe. Talk to your loved ones, and then touch base with your insurer.
Take photographs of everything, including your yards. Write down lists of your damaged property and send them to your insurer.
Do not move in until you can hire a mold inspection service. But try making whatever repairs you can, especially to your windows.
Hurricanes are just one threat to your home. Read more guides to natural disasters by following our coverage.