After a disaster strikes your home, your first instinct is to want to get inside, assess the damage and begin the process of cleaning up. However, before you go inside to view the extent of the damage and begin salvaging your belongings, there are a few precautions you should take to keep yourself safe.
If there is water present in your home due to flooding, it’s a good idea to turn the power to the home off before you go inside. In the aftermath of a disaster, the power company is constantly working to restore service. Even if the power is not operational at the time you enter, it can come back on at any moment while you are inside. Turning the power off at the source is the best way to prevent any accidental electrocution as you work your way through the home. Take an independent light source, like a flashlight, to help you see any potential hazards.
Even small events can have a large impact on the structure of your home, making it less stable. Before entering, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends that you inspect the outside structure for any signs of significant damage. Look for warped wood, cracks in any concrete parts of the home or foundation and any dips in the roof structure. If you spot anything out of the ordinary, avoid going in until the safety of the structure has been fully assessed and cleared to do so by a professional.
Serious structural damage can present dangers to your well being, so be aware of the proper safety equipment to wear in each situation. If there is standing water in your home from a sewage backup or other questionable water source, consider wearing rubber boots. A roof collapse can contain fiberglass particles, so a safety mask to protect your airway might be in order. At the very minimum, gloves are always a smart idea if you’re planning to clean up.
You may want to move items to prevent further damage, but doing this can actually hurt your insurance claim! In order to properly document the extent of the damage, leave everything in place until after photos and/or videos are taken. This will allow the insurance company to fully assess all of your damages and properly reimburse you for everything you’ve lost.
If your home has suffered serious damage, your homeowner’s insurance claim might end up being a large headache that takes months to restore order to your life. Getting in touch with one of our adjusters at Five Star Claims Adjusting before you begin the process will help to ensure that your whole claim gets covered as quickly as possible. Our public claims adjuster will help you from start to finish and will only get paid if your claim is paid. To find out more about how a public claims adjuster can help you, contact Five Star Claims Adjusting today.