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Thousands of American houses are impacted by natural disasters like wildfires, hurricanes, and tornados every single year. However, living in a state that doesn’t see a large number of natural disasters doesn’t mean you’re not at risk of facing an emergency.
Houses fires and flooding can happen in any household. If you’re a homeowner, it’s important that you consider emergency preparedness in the event that the worst occurs.
Fortunately, not all homes are lost to emergencies. Emergency restoration is a great tool for salvaging properties and bringing them back to a healthy and livable environment.
How can you prepare for emergency restoration? Read on to find out.
Keep Important Documents Together
Well before an emergency strikes, protect your most important documents. That includes things like identifying materials such as birth certificates, passports, and Social Security cards. It also includes things like marriage certificates, mortgage contracts, and more.
Purchase a fireproof and waterproof lockbox that is lightweight and easy to carry. Place all of your documents inside the box and keep them somewhere that you can easily access on your way out of your home, like a front hall closet. This will allow you to grab it during evacuation or come back for it during emergency restoration.
Know Where to Go During Emergency Restoration
In the event that your home undergoes severe damage from flooding, fires, or wind, you may need to evacuate for several days or weeks. After most major emergencies, your home is not a safe place to live until emergency restoration is complete.
Know in advance where you will go in the event of an emergency. Will you stay at a nearby hotel? Will you stay with a friend or relative?
It’s easier to make this plan when you are calm, rather than waiting until an emergency strikes.
Call Your Insurance Company
As soon as possible, call your home insurance provider. Keep in mind that some damage, such as water damage, may not be covered by your home insurance policy. However, it is worth calling even if you don’t know that your insurance company will help you pay for emergency restoration.
The faster an insurance claim is filed, the faster you can get started on the emergency restoration. Many insurance companies will want to send out an adjuster to determine the extent of the damage and calculate the cost of repairs. You will only know how much the insurance company will cover once this step is complete.
Keep Your Receipts
Your insurance company may give you a dollar amount that they’re willing to provide to cover emergency restoration. However, that doesn’t mean that they’ll fork it over without knowing where it’s going.
Make sure that you are hanging on to all receipts related to any goods or services that you purchase as the result of the damage to your home. This includes, of course, any cleaning services or renovation services you hire. However, many homeowners overlook additional costs.
Keep the receipts for any hotel bills, clothing bills, and even food bills that you accumulate during this time. No, your insurance company won’t pay for an expensive meal at a five-star restaurant. However, they may provide some coverage for the goods and services you require to stay afloat during your emergency restoration.
Should You Practice DIY Emergency Restoration?
Many homeowners assume, before seeing the extent of the damage in their home, that they will be able to perform the DIY emergency restoration. Is this really the case? It depends on the situation.
After a house fire, we never recommend DIY emergency restoration. Fires, even those that appeared to be contained, can weaken the structure of your home, making it more dangerous to enter than it looks. Lingering soot and ashes are dangerous to the lungs and eyes, especially when you don’t have the proper gear.
You may be able to tackle minor flood damage or wind damage without an emergency restoration company. The key is to replace any structural elements that are damaged beyond repair ASAP to prevent further issues.
For example, look for a service like Renewal by Andersen Window Replacement if your windows were broken or warped in a storm. If large areas of your home are damp, use commercial vacuums and fans to quickly dry them and run your air conditioner to help prevent mold growth.
Bring in the Right Contractors
Restoration companies have the training and equipment to repair a home that was severely damaged in an emergency situation. It’s often best to leave this work to them if you’re dealing with fire damage or water damage that has led to mold growth.
Many emergency restoration companies will also take on communication with your insurance company. They can negotiate over cost and coverage to provide you with the best emergency restoration services for your budget.
Don’t try to weather an emergency alone. Let the professionals help you to get your home back to its former glory.
Embrace Emergency Preparedness as a Homeowner
Whether you live in a state prone to natural disasters or not, emergency preparedness as a homeowner is crucial. Use this checklist to make sure that you know what to expect in the face of emergency restoration. Remember, you can leave the big jobs–from water damage restoration to window replacement–to the professionals.
Wondering if you can remodel your home while repairing it after an emergency? The answer is, most of the time, yes. Take a look around for design inspiration that will help you to take a bad situation and turn it into an opportunity.