How Do You Start Dealing With Emotional Stress When Your Home Burns Down?
Recently, the Appalachian area has been plagued with wildfires. While the rain has made some difference fight the spread of flames Gatlinburg and other areas in North Georgia and the Nantahala are still fighting fires.
Yet even when the wildfires subside completely the real work will begin when residents and business owners return home to face the challenges of restoration.
Residential fires can lead to significant emotional distress in addition to possible physical injuries. Losing your home in a fire involves not only the loss of your residence, but also many other things of value such as photo albums, important documents and treasured objects. Most importantly, though, the home is your place of security, comfort and safety. After a fire, this sense of security can also be lost and can significantly disrupt the normality of daily life. Below is a description of some emotions you may experience and steps you can take to recover.
You should not underestimate the challenge of evacuation, relocation and rebuilding after a fire.
It is common for people to experience several stages of adjustment including shock, anger, depression and hopelessness. Ultimately, however, people can reach a stage of acceptance and become able to move beyond disbelief, bitterness and sadness. Positive feelings can begin to re-emerge as the focus shifts towards the future. Safety, security and comfort are regained, and life moves forward once again and begin dealing with emotional stress of losing your home.
- Call your insurance agent immediately. You will be getting calls at all hours of the day from public adjusters and contractors who will try to offer you a deal on putting your house back together. These calls can create a lot of stress and confusion. It is strongly encouraged to speak to no one but your agent to discuss your options at this point in the process and familiarize yourself with the fire insurance filing system.
- Cooperate fully with the insurance company’s investigation. When a fire claim is reported to an insurance company, it is given top priority. Usually the adjusters come out to see the loss within 24 to 48 hours. To help settle your claim in a timely manner and to your satisfaction, be sure you are available and on time for all meetings, that you return calls promptly, that any requested paperwork is completed as quickly as possible, and that you contact the company or your agent immediately with any questions.
- Find somewhere to stay if you can’t live in your home. Most homeowner’s policies include “Loss of Use or Loss of Rents” coverage, which will pay for the food, clothing, and shelter that you and your family may need for a specified period of time. Keep in mind that your policy will pay for “like kind and quality” living arrangements. You may want to save the Ritz for a special occasion and instead stay in a more reasonably priced hotel.
- Immediately after a fire, especially if it is a minor one, you’ll need to clean up any soot or water damage. It is important to hire a reputable service to deal with these issues. A call to Reliable Restoration will help start you on the road back. With years of experience assisting homeowners and business throughout the South, we are here for you, every step of the way. We will walk you through the process, explain each and every step of the journey, and make sure that everything is done with one ultimate purpose: to get you back in your home or business with a minimal amount of pain, aggravation or worry.