Hurricanes bring extensive damage to infrastructure and property in their wake. The aftermath of most hurricanes is usually disastrous havoc to most homes. Being caught up in hurricane trauma can be the most devastating thing you and your family have to deal with, but there is a need to get back on your feet after the event. It may not be easy, but with a clear guide, it becomes more bearable.
Here is how to build back your life after a hurricane:
6 Steps To Help You Rebuild After A Hurricane
Stay safe when returning home
The local authorities may approve your return home, but you still need to follow all the warnings they give. Your home may be relatively safe, but damaged buildings and debris from the hurricane may be a safety hazard.
Prioritise your safety in all ways possible. Avoid walking or driving through flood waters on your way back home. And if you still feel like your home is still unsafe, consider staying away for a little longer until you can feel safe.
Review the extent of the damage and document everything
After the hurricane has passed and your home is safe enough to host you, the next thing is to assess the extent of wreckage and water damage. Have a walkthrough around the house and take photos of the damage to your home property.
It would be best to dig up pictures of your home before the hurricane to emphasise the extent of damage and have evidence to present to the insurance company. Be sure to document as much as possible in video and pictures. Also, prepare an itemised list of your items to make an extensive home inventory list for your insurance company.
- Remember to save all the receipts to give insurance as part of your deductible.
- Ensure that you are safe when assessing the damage.
- Beware of loose floorboards, broken glass, hanging ceilings and exposed electrical wires.
- If there is any reason to suspect carbon monoxide leakage, shut off your main gas supply, open the windows and contact the emergency services and your gas company immediately.
Check your insurance policy and contact the insurance company
After documenting the damage, go through your insurance policy to understand what it covers. Reread your policy to understand the limits of your coverage and contact your insurance company. Your best bet at an appropriate compensation would be to have a hurricane insurance claims lawyer in your corner.
Sadly, some insurance adjusters will try to get out of paying your claim or want to offer you the minimal amount possible. But with a skilled lawyer in your arsenal, you can have peace of mind knowing that a professional is championing your best interest.
Find any companies offering relief services
In most cases, compensation from the insurance company may be a drop in the ocean, not enough to get you back on your feet. Research links to different types of relief services. Some of the help you may stumble across are disaster recovery loans for your small business, federal tax relief, help with paying for utilities, food relief, home repair help, FHA home mortgage for disaster victims and disaster unemployment benefits.
Beware of scammers
You can always bet on malicious people trying to make the most of even the most disastrous of situations. The sad reality is that there will be scams targeting vulnerable people looking for help after losing their homes to hurricanes.
Protect yourself from disaster scams by doing your due diligence. Check that the company is listed with the Better Business Bureau and has favourable ratings. Visit consumer report websites to see if the company claiming to offer relief services is not flagged as a scam.
Independent third-party review websites are also excellent places to check customer reviews.
Start with the most urgent repairs
Some repairs call for urgent intervention to prevent further damage to the home. Find a professional to evaluate the situation and handle repairs that need immediate care. Start with the primary rooms, like the bathroom and kitchen.
Your priority needs to be the room you need most. Understandably, you may want to move into your home as fast as possible. You should, however, never compromise quality over quickness. It is better to take a little longer to move into your renovated home than move to a home that will fall apart in no time.
Dealing with life after a hurricane can be many things, but easy can never be on that list. Frustration is part of the process. You should not beat yourself up if you are not your usual self. That said, you can focus on the silver lining, which is the possibility of rebuilding your home, rather than fixating on the disaster.