The devastating effects of a flood, fire, or storm can be felt long after the damage is done. While these once-in-a-lifetime events can be complicated, the team at Blaze Restoration is here to help you navigate the aftermath of a disaster.
What Do I Do First?
Once the disaster has been contained, you will speak with emergency personnel about the safety of your home. Depending on the severity of the damage you may or may not be allowed to reenter your property. If it is safe for you to go inside your home, take photos and remove any valuables.
You will likely have to find temporary housing. Make sure to save your receipts for reimbursement as your homeowner’s insurance policy will usually cover the cost.
When Should I Contact My Insurance Company?
You should contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report the damage. They will start a claim and assign an insurance adjuster to your case. Make sure to write down your claim number.
- Keeping detailed records
- Saving all your receipts
- Storing all your claim information in one location
Do I Need to Protect My Property?
Once emergency personnel leave the scene, your home and property are your responsibility to keep secure. Blaze Restoration can assist you in protecting your home from additional damage, theft, and vandalism. Our process for securing your home includes:
- Boarding up your home
- Fencing off a perimeter
- Tarping or shrink-wrapping exposed areas
If needed, we can station security personnel at your home to provide additional protection.
When it is safe to reenter your home, remove your valuables and personal items. If possible, take photographs of the items you are taking from the scene.
How Do I Protect Myself?
Going inside a damaged building can be dangerous. Unless you are given express permission, only experienced restoration professionals should enter your home. They are trained to handle the potentially toxic environment and have the equipment required to deal with any hazards.
Is an Investigation Normal?
In some instances, such as a fire, an investigation may be conducted to investigate the cause of the damage. This is a normal process and does not mean the authorities suspect foul play.
Your insurance company may hire an independent investigator as well that reports their findings directly to the adjuster handling your case and the company.
Does a Disaster Affect My Property Taxes?
If your home is severely damaged, you may be able to reevaluate and reduce your property taxes. You should contact your areas Assessor’s Office and request an assessment through the appraisal section.
Make sure to complete the assessment in a timely manner before any rebuilding or repairs begin.
What If My Home Is Not Insured?
You may be able to deduct some of the cost of your uninsured property damage from your income tax. Speak with a tax expert or contact the Internal Revenue Service for additional information.
Do I Need to Contact Anyone Else?
After you have spoken with your insurance company and started a claim, you should contact the following places to let them know about the damage to your home:
- Your Post Office to initiate a temporary change of address
- Your bank or credit union
- Your garbage or waste management company
- Your place of employment
- Your utility providers
- Your child’s school
If your home will be vacant for some time, we recommend also contacting the police department to make them aware of the situation.
Additional Helpful Resources
If you need additional assistance, here are some helpful resources:
- Mortgage Bankers Association – Download Disaster Recovery: A Resource for Homeowners.
- FEMA – Registering online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov is the quickest way to register for FEMA assistance. If you are unable to access the internet, you can also call at (800) 621-FEMA (3362).
- Red Cross – Visit the Get Help section of their website or call (800) RED-CROSS.
- United Way – Visit the Disaster Assistance section of their website or call 2-1-1.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – Visit the Financial Tool Kit for Victims of Hurricanes.
For more information on damage restoration, give us a call today at (800) 464-1142 to experience the Blaze way.