Weather patterns have shown a dramatic uptick in the occurrence of catastrophic storms in the last few decades. For many coastal regions, a sad fact is that it is only a matter of time before disaster strikes.
If you have been in the path of a hurricane, and have sustained damage to your property it can be a shocking experience. In addition, it can be hard to think logically and swing into action when such a devastating event happens.
Here are some basic guidelines that you can use to deal with the situation effectively.
Assess the damage
The process of assessing hurricane damage can be quite dangerous because there are many factors to be aware of on the surrounding property. Working around downed power lines and live wires can pose serious harm to you and your neighbors. When cleaning up around the property, you must also beware of damaged trees or dangling tree limbs that could be hiding these live wires from view.
If it looks like the property has sustained structural damage, do not enter the building. Sometimes it can be difficult to tell if a building has sustained that kind of damage, so it’s wise to use caution when entering any building after a storm.
Once it is safe to enter the property, work on getting an accurate assessment of the damage so that you can notify your insurance company. Be sure to consider sources of hidden damage as well, such as water damage, which could cause mold growth if not dealt with in a timely manner.
Most likely the power will be out at the very beginning, so it’s good to have a flashlight available. Use extreme caution when using an open flame in a place that has sustained hurricane damage. You never know if there is a gas leak. To be even more safe, you should have a fire extinguisher handy at all times.
Mitigate further damage
Once the storm has passed, and it’s safe to enter the property, you can begin to do some things to help mitigate the damage. In addition, a good water damage restoration company can help you prevent more damage. We work with most insurance companies, so we can help mitigate damages and the insurance company will cover the cost.
If trees, branches or debris have fallen around the property you can begin to clear it away. If the roof of the property has been compromised, cover it with a tarp to prevent more water from getting inside.
Remove wet rugs or carpets from the property to prevent water damage to the subfloor. It’s a good idea to open windows and doors to get air flowing into the property if possible to help dry the area. Always wait until you contact the insurance company before hiring any contractors unless it’s an emergency situation that requires immediate repair.
Consider Hiring An Adjuster
We always recommend hiring an adjuster. An adjuster will work on your behalf to make sure the claim goes smoothly. In addition, they will know how to properly do the claim so you get the most amount of coverage.
If you decide not to use an adjuster then:
Call the insurance company
The sooner you call the insurance company, the better. If you are serious about getting reimbursed for damages, you definitely shouldn’t wait until the roof is caving in. Or even worse, if mold growth has taken over your home or business. Not to mention the fact that many insurance companies limit the time you can file a claim after a catastrophic event has occurred.
In preparation for contacting your insurance company there are a few things you need to have ready so that the process can be as efficient as possible.
Home or Business Inventory List
Hopefully you are one of those people who is very meticulous about keeping track of your valuables. This is one instance where it will really come in handy. If you are able to present a list of your damaged home or business inventory, you will be able to file claims much more easily than if you are still scratching your head trying to figure out what to include in the insurance claim when the insurance adjuster arrives.
As we already mentioned, you could also opt to hire a public adjuster, which is a person who can come and help you accurately assess the value of your property and the repair costs.
Questions for the Insurance Company
If you are not fully aware of what your policy allows for, then having a list of questions for the insurance company can be a great idea. Many times, insurance policies allow for things such as an additional living expense allowance while your home is being repaired.
If you don’t already know, it’s also smart to find out what the hurricane/windstorm deductible is on your policy. That way you will be prepared for the cost when the bill comes in.
Contact Us For Water Damage Restoration
Our home is Miami, and it’s been years since we had any hurricane damage in Miami. However, we understand that every hurricane season is different, and we can get hit at any time.
Good luck, and contact us if you have had any hurricane damage to your home or business.