What to Do After a Hurricane
Facing the aftermath of a hurricane can be daunting, which is why we’ve come up with a list of 10 steps to take after a hurricane to help you get back on your feet again. Take a deep breath and begin to rebuild.
- Find your loved ones. Part of your hurricane preparationshould include establishing a meeting place or an out-of-state contact that everyone can call.
- Don’t go home until it’s safe. There may still be dangers, even after the storm has passed, so it’s wise to make sure you have an official “all clear” before returning to your home.
- Do you qualify for assistance? If your county qualifies for Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) assistance then you can register at www.disasterassistance.gov to get help for your home and/or business.
- Document the damage. Start taking pictures of everything. It’s always best to document any damage and cleanup so your insurance company can see what happened.
- Contact your insurance company. Let your insurance agent know that you were involved in a hurricane and ask them what your next steps are in filing a claim.
- Tread carefully. Standing water and flood water can be particularly hazardous. It can hide swift currents, be littered with debris and bacteria or be electrically charged. It is best to avoid it whenever possible. Even if there isn’t standing water — watch your step as previously sturdy floors may now be unstable.
- Prevent further damage if possible. Tarps come in handy as you try to protect your property from additional rain damage. If you can, you may want to move items to a safe and dry place.
- Listen to local clean up news and advisories. Local agencies will be offering aid and important information throughout the process. Stay on top of cleanup efforts so you know when crews will be in your area and where to put the debris.
- Dehumidify your home. Open all doors and windows to get air moving. If your electric company has given approval to use electricity, start running fans and air conditioners to remove as much moisture as possible. Waterlogged furniture, bedding and carpeting should be documented, photographed and then removed.
- Help others. If you were lucky enough to escape damage or have minimal cleanup — reach out to others in your region who may not be able to manage the task themselves. A helping hand is always appreciated after a natural disaster.
To find out more about hurricane insurance, contact your American Family Insurance agent.