Even the most prepared family can be hit by an unforgiving storm. The damage and debris may leave you wondering, “Now what?” Rebuilding your life after a disaster strikes can be tough, especially while you’re adjusting to your new “normal.”
Here’s what to do after the storm clears:
If you evacuated, wait for word from your local officials on whether it is safe to return to your home. Flooding may have blocked roads and powerlines could be down making it unsafe to travel. Download a weather alert app for the most up-to-date information! Keep in mind, gas might also be scarce, making it difficult to get home. Check out this helpful website, GasBuddy, for fuel availability.
Reach out to family and friends and follow your emergency communication plan. Texting is the best option after a storm, because in times of emergencies, phone lines can be blocked due to increased use and lack of internet service. Texts will save and send once there is adequate signal, and texting can also save your battery compared to calling. In case you can’t get in contact with your friends and family, most social media platforms like Facebook, as well as the American Red Cross, have a feature to mark yourself “safe.”
3. Stay Out of Flood Waters
Flood waters can quickly sweep people and cars away. Yikes! Never attempt to drive through flood waters. Dangerous bacteria, critters, debris, and live powerlines can be lurking in the waters. It’s best to stay put, if possible, and wait for help to arrive. FEMA offers Federal Flood Assistance to those with qualifying damage. Here’s how to apply.
4. Take Pictures
Before you start repairing or cleaning up after a storm, take photographs of your property and any damage. This can help to speed up the claims process. Need to file a claim? See how Lighthouse can help get you back on your feet through the claims process.
5. Prevent Further Damage
It might take time for your insurance company to get to your location to inspect the property. To prevent further damage from occurring during this time, use tarps to cover holes and leaks in your roof.