Hurricanes are one of the most devastating natural disasters that we face. An average hurricane season, which runs from June 1st to November 30th, consists of 14 named storms, each of which can cause billions of dollars’ worth of damage each year. If you haven’t already, check out our recent blog on hurricane preparedness to learn how to prepare your property before a storm hits.
If a hurricane hit your home recently, you probably feel shaken by the destruction and the impact on your life. The aftermath of a natural disaster can be an immensely challenging period, prompting numerous questions as individuals strive to reassemble their lives. The biggest questions being, what now and what to do after a hurricane has hit my home?
As your trusted advisors at Deland, Gibson, we are here to provide you with six steps to take after a hurricane has occurred:
1. Wait to Return Home.
If you evacuated your home for the storm, wait to return until it is safe to travel and stay there. Find temporary accommodation if you think your home may be damaged, flooded, or unsafe.
2. Assess Your Home for Damage.
Once you are at home, carefully check for any roof, window, or door damage. If any windows are damaged, you should board them temporarily. While assessing for destruction, remember to take photos for documentation – this will be crucial if you end up filing a claim.
While at home:
- Wear appropriate clothing, such as boots and gloves, when assessing the damage to your home.
- Leave your home immediately if you hear any shifting or unusual noises, which could mean your building or house is about to fall.
- Do not touch electrical equipment if it is wet or if you are standing in water.
- If your power is still out, avoid using candles in case of a gas leak, and turn your flashlight on before entering a building.
- Avoid drinking your tap water until you know the water supply is safe.
- Check your refrigerated food for spoilage. Your raw meat, eggs, and dairy products might have perished if you lost power.
- Immediately exit any building that smells like gas.
3. Avoid Flooded Roads, Roads Covered in Debris, and Fallen Power Lines.
Just because a storm has passed doesn’t mean the debris and flood water is gone. If you must drive, make sure the roads are clear and free of hazards. However, if possible, avoid driving altogether. Even after getting the all-clear from authorities to drive, take safety precautions and pay attention to the road.
4. Keep Track of Your Expenses.
If you make any temporary repairs or must replace any household goods, save all bills and receipts. However, don’t make any permanent repairs until you talk to your insurance agent, and they review the damage.
5. Contact Deland, Gibson to Begin the Claims Process.
As soon as you have inspected your home and documented the damage, contact your insurance agent.
How does insurance work after a hurricane?
Insurance can play a vital role in helping homeowners rebuild their lives after a devastating natural disaster. It is important to note that with hurricanes there is typically damage created on two fronts – wind damage and water damage from flooding. Homeowners insurance can cover damage caused by hurricane winds, but you will need a separate policy to cover flood damage.
An important piece to note is that while you may be keen to start rebuilding and making repairs, it is important to contact your insurance agent first so that they may review the damage. Failing to do so before undertaking major repairs to your home could impact your ability to file claims.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why can’t you drink tap water after a hurricane?
You should avoid ingesting tap water after a hurricane as it could be contaminated and cause disease because the storm and floodwaters disrupt municipal water sources.
How long after a hurricane can I make a claim?
It’s best to file a claim as soon as possible after a storm to ensure that it’s processed correctly and quickly. However, homeowners typically have at least two years after an event to file a claim, depending on what state they live in.
Providing Peace of Mind Through Proactive Service
Deland, Gibson: A Trusted Choice, Five Star Accredited independent insurance agency. Established in Massachusetts in 1900, Deland, Gibson is a 4th generation family-run insurance agency that has thrived working as a trusted advisor for its client base. We work with individuals and businesses to lower their Total Cost of Risk. We analyze a client’s direct and indirect costs and implement risk reduction plans to address areas of business, hazard, or strategic risk.