What Should I Do If I Have Storm Damage?

Storm season is officially here. You’ve followed the recommended preparations, and now, after taking shelter during the storm, it’s time to inspect your home and other structures for damage. Unfortunately, you discover damage. What should you do next? Let’s go over the steps to help you start the repair process.

  1. Ensure Safety: Before inspecting any damage, prioritize safety. Watch out for hazards like downed power lines, weakened structures, or standing water.
  2. Document the Damage: Take photos or videos of the damage for insurance purposes. Document the affected areas from multiple angles and distances.
  3. Contact Your Insurance Company: Notify your insurance company as soon as possible. Provide them with details of the damage and any documentation you’ve collected. They will guide you through the claims process.
  4. Mitigate Further Damage: If it’s safe to do so, take steps to prevent further damage. This could include placing tarps over damaged roofs, boarding up broken windows, or removing debris.
  5. Keep Records: Maintain a record of all communications with your insurance company, contractors, and any other parties involved in the recovery process. This includes phone calls, emails, and receipts for any expenses related to the damage.
  6. Get Multiple Quotes: When hiring contractors for repairs, obtain multiple quotes to ensure you’re getting a fair price. Ensure any contractors you hire are licensed and insured. Trust your instincts when choosing a contractor. If something doesn’t feel right or you are uncomfortable with the contractor, seek other options.
  7. Follow Local Regulations: Check with local authorities to see if there are any regulations or permits required for repairs. Failure to comply could result in fines or other penalties.
  8. Stay Informed: Stay informed about any assistance programs or resources available for storm damage recovery. This could include government aid programs or nonprofit organizations offering assistance.
  9. Consider Safety Upgrades: Use the opportunity to make safety upgrades to your home or property. This could include reinforcing structures, installing storm shutters, or upgrading to impact-resistant roofing materials.
  10. Be Patient: Recovery from storm damage can take time, so be patient throughout the process. Stay in communication with your insurance company and contractors, and don’t hesitate to ask for updates if needed.

Take a deep breath! You are on the way to completing this journey. Remember, you have a lot of support. Contact your insurance agent or claims representative if you have any questions. Be thankful that everyone is safe and that your property can be repaired.