When a storm hits your area, whether it is a hurricane, tornado, hail or wind storm, it can leave you devastated and with significant damages on your property. Dealing with the aftermath of that storm damage can not only be difficult and stressful but also dangerous. The recovery can be challenging for the entire family and not only physically but also mentally. Knowing that you can do something to help with the restoration can help keep your mind of off things, and knowing how to do it will help you get your life back together more quickly and efficiently. Here are some of the main steps that you can take after a storm hits.
Staying safe is the first and most important step that you can and should take. It is a step that you should have in mind throughout the entire process of storm damage restoration and during every action that you take along the way. Firstly, and most importantly, never go outside until you are completely certain that the storm has passed. Even if the storm is dying down and almost completely over, don’t risk your life and your health by leaving the safety of your home. There is only so much you can do until it stops completely. Once it has died down and there is no chance of it coming back, you will be able to have a clear overview of the extent of the damages that your property has suffered. You should stay tuned into your local radio stations and listen to the weather forecast for any instructions and advisories. They will also let you know when it is safe to go outside again. Once you are outside, take extra precautions when walking around your home as it can be slippery from the rain and there could be some broken glass and debris. Make sure not to go into buildings that have obvious structural damage, as well as to stay away from damaged trees and broken tree limbs. One of the most important things to emphasize is to steer clear from the downed power lines. They may still be energized and therefore very dangerous, especially if there is standing water near them. It is recommended to stay at least 10 feet away from them and to call your utility company as soon as possible. If you are venturing out to inspect your property always use a flashlight as a source of light and never a candle, as there is also a risk of a gas leak. If you do smell gas in your home, you should shut off your gas meter, call the proper authorities, and go outside. And finally, if you are able, go check on your neighbors, especially if they are elderly and disabled, to see if they are ok and if they need any help.
With safety in mind and following all of the above-mentioned tips, you can go around your property and asses the extent of the damage that the storm has caused. Take extra precautions when inspecting your roof and if it is not absolutely necessary, avoid climbing up the ladders and leave those parts to the experts. You can inspect the roof from the ground for some obvious signs of damages, such as fallen trees, broken or missing shingles, holes in the roof or the siding, loose or broken gutters, etc. Check your doors and windows, as they can be damaged from flying debris pieces as well as from high winds. If the windows are broken be careful not to step in the glass and if you can, safely remove the bigger pieces. You can also board up your windows until professionals can come and repair or replace them. While you are inspecting the exterior of your home, you can also take pictures of all the damages that you notice, so that you have some form of documentation for your insurance company, if you plan on filing an insurance claim. If you have suffered water damages inside your home, make sure to open all windows and doors as well as to turn on any fans that you have and remove all wet rugs and carpets. The professionals will take care of all the rest.
Once you’ve conducted your assessment of the property and made sure that you and your family are safe, you should contact your insurance provider so that you can start the insurance claim process, if you are insured. You can first go over your home insurance policy to check what exactly is covered under it so that you are prepared. Making a list of all the damages that you’ve encountered will help significantly in this process, as will the photos and videos that you took. Once you’ve called them, the insurance company will be able to tell you what to do next and how to file your claim. It can be a complex and stressful process, but be persistent and don’t give up, as the damages you’ve suffered can amount to some costly repairs. Some professional storm damage restoration companies even offer insurance claim assistance so you can turn to them for help.
Once you have talked to your insurance company and arranged a meeting with their adjuster, you should start looking into local contractors. It will be a good idea to have your contractor present at this meeting so that they can make sure the adjustor took notice of all the storm damage and so that they know what they need to do. You can check with your friends and neighbors for some recommendations and your homeowners’ associations may also refer you to some reputable contractors. The important thing is to be cautious and patient and not to make any rash decisions. Get several bids and estimates, compare them, and make sure you understand all that they imply. A good professional will be willing to answer all your questions and resolve any doubts that you may have. Additionally, take into consideration that reputable storm restoration contractors in Savannah will be busy after such a storm event and that you may have to wait for their service a bit longer. But in the end, it will be worth it more than letting someone who is less qualified and experienced to do a poor job on your home.