This year’s hurricane season brought with it much devastation, but luckily many lives were saved due to mandatory evacuations imposed by local governments before the storms hit our shores. Planning gives everyone a chance to protect themselves, their property and to find peace before the storm knowing you did all you could to prepare before the storm arrives.
The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, with a month and a half left before the season end let’s all hope we’ve seen the last of the major storms hit land. This year the south experienced two major hurricanes that did hit our nation, and the devastation is still being accessed but what you the individual needs to be concerned most is your safety first and a plan for a quick recovery.
Here are a few tips to help you through this difficult time as you begin your recovery:
Safety should be your priority – as well as your mental and physical well-being. The road ahead will be challenging, and you will need to make sure you are up to the task before you can begin to get your home, your community and your life back to normal.
Take good care of your health – set priorities and pace yourself, be sure and get enough rest and eat well.
Take caution when trying to go back home – listen to the authorities, they are skilled in knowing when it will be safe for your return. Keep in mind; many hazards remain after a hurricane, such as flood water, unstable structures, downed electric wires, contaminated water, gas leaks, broken glass, and slippery floors.
Be sure and have proper personal protective equipment – before you begin to assess your damage, your safety always comes first. Wear sturdy work boots and gloves and be sure to wash often with soap and clean water when working in debris.
Document all damage for your insurance claim – you will be asked to identify the damage, lost or stolen property for its replacement. It’s best to have before and after photos for this purpose. The records you created ahead of time, will make it easier to assess damage by comparing before and after documentation. Hopefully, you created this list before the storm and had it in a secure file whether it is a safety deposit box or put into a secure cloud-based file system the choice is yours, but you will be glad you prepare ahead of the storm.
Even if you didn’t keep a record of your inventory – continue to take photos after the storm to show the damage before you begin to clean up and remove items. This should include any debris on your property brought in by the storm.
Save all your receipts – document the purpose of each purchase, doing so will help with your insurance claim going forward. The more information and proof you can provide the more likely you are to be reimbursed.
File a claim as soon as possible – use your agent as a resource and let them help advocate for you. Discuss your policies to ensure you are getting the appropriate benefits of your coverage and have your agent help prioritize your case.
Disasters are disturbing experiences – it brings emotional turmoil, financial stress, loss of home, business or personal property. It is vital to seek crisis counseling if you or someone you love is experiencing issues with post-traumatic stress due to the storm. The quicker they get help, the sooner they can put it behind them.
Following these tips can help make your recovery less stressful and progress more quickly. Keep in mind, throughout this process you are not alone. You will find kindness in your neighbors, community, and strangers. We saw it in the past when disaster strikes, the generosity, and compassion of the American people come together to lend a hand. People want to help, let them.
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