Many people in Texas have just been through one of the worst storms ever to hit the United States. Homeowners were forced to evacuate their homes and find shelter, and are now returning to witness the extent of the devastation. There was more rain dumped in the Houston area of Texas than at any other time in history, and estimates on the cost of damage are up close to $160 billion. If those estimates are correct, then it would be the most expensive natural disaster in American history. As you return, you may find that your home is in relatively good shape, or you may find that you need major disaster restoration. Here’s a guide to what to do after a hurricane strikes your area.
Check For Flooding
On your way back into your neighborhood, there’s a high likelihood that you’ll come across flooding somewhere. Just because the storm is well over, doesn’t mean that water hasn’t been trapped in certain places. Don’t try to drive or walk through the flood water though, because you could get knocked over, or your vehicle could be moved off course by rushing water. Downed power lines are also extremely dangerous if there’s water nearby, so steer clear of them and call the utility company.
Turn Off The Power
As soon as you return home, shut off the power. If it’s not safe to do so, then contact the utility company for help. If there’s standing water in your home, then there’s a big risk of electric shock.
Once you’ve determined that the house is safe for the immediate moment, take a look around for any structural problems with the house. If you see signs of serious foundation or structural problems, then call a professional right away. Home restoration companies will tell you that there are some types of damage that need to be dealt with immediately. Take a look outside as well, as you may need emergency restoration and roofing repair as well. Disaster restoration is tricky because there may be hidden problems when the devastation is so widespread.
Document every bit of damage you find. Not only so you can provide that information to home restoration companies, but so that it will help with any insurance claims. Take photos and inventory any damaged personal belongings as well. You don’t want to have any problems with your emergency restoration and roofing insurance claim because you have insufficient documentation of the damage.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Your insurance provider should be contacted immediately as well. They will want to do their own inspection to get a sense of the damage for themselves. They will also talk to you about the claims process, and explain what type of coverage you have.
Having your home damaged in a hurricane can be an incredibly traumatic experience, but unfortunately there’s a lot that goes into disaster restoration. Water damage is tricky to clean up, and the home needs to be dried out before some work can be started. Mold is a particularly common danger that must be dealt with as well. In the end, your home will be back to itself in a short time, but try not to get too frustrated with the process. That will only add to the stress you’re already feeling and it won’t change what has happened.