Merely living in a home is enough to cause wear and tear. There are scuffs on the counters, and marks on the carpet. All of this is a perfectly natural, and usually isn’t a big deal. What is a big deal? Natural disasters and floods. Those can wreak havoc on both a building and the inhabitants inside it. In many cases, such events precipitate a full-blown home crisis. They require another kind of response. Our homes should be a place where we can relax and be our most comfortable selves. When we lose that, it can take a while to regain our sense of security. The best way to do that is to tackle the issue head-on, and try to solve it as quickly as possible.
After the storm
If you live in the South or Midwest, you’re probably relatively accustomed to hearing terms like “tornado watch” on the news. Maybe you’re even used to hearing the tornado siren sound a few times a year. Some parts of the country are certainly more tornado prone than others. However, a funnel cloud can occur virtually anywhere in the country, if the right ingredients are there. Tornadoes can cause a tremendous amount of wind damage, and the National Severe Storms Laboratory says the biggest danger to humans and animals comes from flying debris and “from being tossed about in the wind.” It can also “rip ordinary homes to shreds.” Siding can be pulled down, windows can be blown off, and even the asphalt pavement outside your home can be stripped away. Once the danger has passed, the first call you make should be to your insurance company. Talk to an agent and get someone out to inspect the damage as soon as possible. Many insurance companies now offer policyholder portal modules, where you can check out the specifics of your policy. Some of the language can get a little obscure and hard to follow, so make sure to ask a person what something means if you aren’t sure.
Smoke and fire
Fire alarms that work are critical to saving lives in the event of a fire. If possible, test a fire alarm with actual smoke, to make sure it can detect it. Unfortunately, your ability to get out of the home quickly with family members and pets doesn’t mean the fire will be put out as quickly. It depends on many variables, some of which are outside the control of firefighters. As soon as the fire is out, and the firefighters have left the scene, call a restoration team that can respond within hours, not days. Waiting just gives the damage time to set in and possibly worsen. Crews may need to board up parts of the house, as well as remove water used to put out the fire. They can also remove the soot and smoke that’s stuck to the walls and ceilings. It’s a multi-step process that may take a while, but if experts aren’t going to give up on returning your home to its prior condition, then neither should you.