While a typical storm may not cause any damage at all to your home, at this time of year it’s not unusual to experience strong storms and unpredictable weather. Depending on where you live in the United States, more serious threats like hurricane season and tornado season may be something you deal with yearly. And despite all the preparation you take when alerted of a storm heading your way, unfortunately, damage can still happen. So then, the question is, what do you do if your home incurs storm damage?
Here we’ll look at the basic steps you can take after sustaining damage to the home.
Ensure the Premises are Safe and Secure
As soon as the storm passes and it is safe to go outside, the first thing you want to do is ensure the property and the home is safe and secure. Depending on how severe the storm was, there could be debris in your yard that isn’t just messy but could be hazardous. Also, if the damage to your home is structural, it’s best to get out of the house until it can be inspected by a professional. You don’t want to take chances.
As for where you can go, your town/city may have emergency shelters set up, you may be able to stay with family or friends temporarily, or even in a hotel on a short-term basis.
Get As Much Documentation as Possible
You will also want to document the damage the best you can. This means taking photos and videos of the immediate aftermath of the storm, this information may be required for your homeowner’s insurance claim.
Contact Your Insurance Company
The next step should be to contact your insurance company as soon as possible after the storm has let up, the property is secured, and you and your family are safe. When you call your insurance company, they will set you up with a claim representative, who will act as your point person. They will talk to you about the damage that has been incurred, you can ask them any questions you may have regarding coverage and your deductible, and things will proceed from there.
Find a Qualified Contractor
Now it’s time to find a contractor able to fix all the damage. Some tips to find the best home contractor after a storm include:
- Ask for references, do they have experience with storm damage?
- Ask about the contractor’s credentials, are they qualified and insured to do the work?
- Be wary of overly low bids, as they may be a representation of the quality of work and materials used
- Does the contractor work with insurance companies? This can make the process easier for you.
On the Path to Repairs
Incurring storm damage can be quite upsetting, especially if the damage is severe enough that it forces you to temporarily leave your home. Knowing the steps to take in the immediate moments after the storm and moving forward will help ensure you get on the path to repairs.