10 Questions to Ask About Reconstruction after a Disaster

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  Filed under: Severe Weather, Tips
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When disaster strikes, you may not know what to do next. Here are ten questions and answers you need when dealing with storm damage restoration and reconstruction.

  1. Who do I call?
    1. If someone is injured; Emergency Medical Services first and foremost!
    2. Your Insurance Company – call to see if your covered and file a claimrestoration_assesment
      1. Keep detailed notes of who you talked to and when.
      2. Remember that property damage includes structures as well as crop and animal loss.
      3. Gather these documents which you will need in the weeks following a disaster.
    3. A trusted Restoration Company – call for initial assessment of damages.
      1. Ask how fast can they get to you,
      2. After the initial assessment ask; do you have any major concerns, was there foundation damage, window damage and is there any presence of mold, mildew or soot?
  2. What should I document? – Truthfully, everything. Make sure to take photos of the damage (only if safe).
    1. Keep a running list of damaged items.
  3. When can I re-enter? – Follow up with local authorities on when you can return to your home after a disaster for your safety. If they tell you it is not, relocate you and your family until they give you the all clear.
  4. Is my home safe? – To increase safety, turn off gas, electrical and water, don’t touch exposed wire or plumbing, watch out for fallen or damaged trees, relocate valuables since security is decreased you’re more at risk for thieves, and recruit neighbors to help watch your home.
  5. Is my home weather proof? – To prevent more damage, roof_damageboard up windows and openings and close roof holes with a tarp to protect home from any rain or other weather in the days following a disaster, if the home is safe and time permits.
  6. Where are the hazards? – Inside: standing water which brings bacteria and fungi and soot inhalation which affects lung health. Outside: Be care of fallen trees or damaged trees that could fall, electrical hazards and hanging power lines; sharp objects or debris.
  7. What are the neighbors doing? – After weather related disasters your neighbors likely have similar issues to you. See what they are doing and what damage they incurred. You may not realize you have roof damage until your neighbor tells you they have it.
  8. What items can be salvaged? – Whether storm or fire damage, items in your home may not be salvageable. Mattresses and pillows retain odors and bacteria and are best to be replaced. Sort through your things and make sure to consider the health risks of keeping items that cannot be thoroughly cleaned (example: perishable foods, paper products, fabric items, etc.).
  9. What restoration company? – The guy going door to door isn’t going to be your best choice. Make sure you choose a licensed and insured company that can provide you with referrals and offers the services you require based on your home’s specific damage, like Reliable Restoration. Once you settle on a company ask:
    1. How will you protect my property?
    2. Do I need to remove non-damaged items from my home (things on walls, furniture, etc.)?
    3. How will you prevent contamination of bacteria/fungi?
    4. How long will the project take?
    5. Who will be on my property and when?
  10. How to prepare so this doesn’t happen again? – Whether it is a fire or a storm, no one wants to go through the headache often. Make sure you update insurance policies, take the proper safety measures and have an emergency plan in place in case of another disaster.