After The StormDespite all of your precautions, the forces of nature may still damage your home and other property. Now, what do you do?
Here are some suggestions:
• Wait until an area is declared safe before entering
• If you come to a barricade or flooded road while traveling, turn around and go another way
• Avoid weakened bridges and washed out roads
• Don't drive into flooded areas
• Stay on solid ground; moving water only 6 inches deep can take you off your feet, standing water may be electrically charged from downed power lines
• Check your utilities, especially your gas line. If you hear a hissing sound or smell gas, open a window and quickly leave the building. Turn off the gas at the outside valve and call your gas company.
• Look for electrical system damage. Sparks or broken wires signal danger.
• If you smell hot insulation, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box or circuit breaker. Call an electrician if you have to step into water to get to the fuse box.
• You may need to make emergency repairs to prevent injury or further damage to your property.
• Check sewer and water lines for damage. Do not use water from the tap if you suspect that water pipes are damaged.
• Immediately report any damage to your insurance company.
• Take photographs of the damage so that you will have records for your insurance company.
• Get your own expert to assess the damage, if you are not satisfied with your insurance company's estimate.
• When the contractor is provided by your insurer, make sure the work is guaranteed in writing. If not, hire your own contractor but beware price gouging. The Better Business Bureau can give you a reference.
• Keep a close eye on small children, who could easily get lost or hurt.
•Do not drink the tap water until you are sure it is safe.
• Keep listening to radio, TV or NOAA weather radio for storm information