Our thoughts and prayers are with all of our friends, neighbors and family members and those affected by the wildfires. In times like this we find it hard to wrap our minds around what steps we need to take to get back into our homes and our neighborhoods. Here are some helpful suggestions below.
Once your neighborhood evacuation has lifted and you are able to return home, please keep in mind your safety is first priority.
When entering your home - Wear a mask: The toxins are extremely dangerous. Experts say to not stay in your home more than a half hour, these toxins can cause a range of health problems, such as burning eyes, runny nose, sore throat, chronic heart and lung disease.
Have your home air quality assessed -If not done properly it can be almost impossible to get the smell out of your home. Call a respected company such as Servpro to come and inspect your home. As long as you have electricity and water they can test air quality and explain the process of cleaning your home properly.
Our Suggestion: Michael Brownstein from Servpro – 323-206-0131.
Immediately File A Claim with Your Insurance Company- You are required to report a loss as soon as possible. Sending an email is sufficient to your agent until you can talk on the phone. Include your name, address, policy number if possible, and any information you can give them about the extent of the damage.
Secure Your Property – The police are actively protecting neighborhoods. And the insurance company will expect you to take reasonable steps to protect your property. Board up any broken windows, lock your doors, and if you have extensive damage we suggest putting a fence around your property. Keep a close eye on your property and let your neighbors know to contact you if they see anything unusual. Our Suggestion: Three company’s we use are Andy Gump Fence Factory NationalRental.
Ask for an Advance from Your Insurance Company – If you are unable to go back to your home and you have extensive damage your insurance company will give you an advance to cover the cost of replacing items like clothing, personal items from tooth brushes to clothing for work. This will be an advance against your eventual claim and they can mail or bring a check to where you are staying.
Log Everything and Keep Receipts - In times of stress we tend to forget things easily so jotting down all activities creating a log of everything that has taken place. Who you have met with, contacted over the phone, insurance company contacts and conversations. Your Policy will include loss of use, meaning it will pay for your hotel, rentals, extra costs in food from being displaced and so on. We suggest logging every expense and keeping receipts.
The Rebuilding Process - It’s critical to take action right away and find yourself a qualified restoration contractor that understands the insurance business. They will help you through the process of dealing with your insurance adjusters, walk you through each step and help you put together the right team to rebuild your home.
If you have any questions or concerns or are unsure about your situations we are here to help in any way we can. Feel free to give us a call at 800.840.0873
or email Dana Mackey at MackeyConstruction@gmail.com