Your Home is Destroyed During a Natural Disaster: Now What?
It’s hard to imagine something as random as a natural disaster striking and destroying your home. You think that happens to other people far away, or in movies, right? Natural disasters can happen to anyone, anywhere, and at anytime. The damage left behind can be devastating. The steps taken during weather emergencies are important. Being prepared is the best way to ensure survival and prevent unnecessary injuries or death.
How to Prepare for a Natural Disaster
It can be difficult to know when a natural disaster will happen. Protecting yourself and your home beforehand is the best place to start. If your home has been destroyed by a natural disaster what is the first thing you would have wished you had done? The answer is simple, apply for insurance.
According to the article, “Homeowners & Natural Disasters: What To Do If Your Home Is Destroyed During A Natural Disaster” , by Patrick Merryman, when applying for a home insurance policy, it is important to think about your location and what type of natural disasters that are common in your area. Knowing what natural threats are common can help you narrow down what insurance you need. Although this is a preventative step it will help you financially. If a natural disaster occurs, you and your home will be protected.
After a Natural Disaster:
1. Contact FEMA
The period following a storm can be stressful and you may not know where to get help. In the article, “How To Get Federal Disaster Assistance” by Jay Macdonald, it states that the first step to take when your home has been destroyed is to contact FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency. FEMA’s assistance includes temporary housing, low-interest loans and grants, and counseling for post-disaster trauma. This way, you can make arrangements for your own safety while trying to take care of your damaged home. After this, you must file an insurance claim.
2. Contact Insurance Company
When filing for an insurance claim, you must contact your insurance company as soon as possible. According to Merryman’s article, when filing your claim you must give the agent as much detail as possible. Explain what the damage is, where it occurred, how it happened, when it happened, and what kind of disaster caused it. Taking pictures and video of the damage is also helpful for the insurance agent to see the disaster for himself or herself. If you wait too long, it may affect your eligibility for assistance.
When a natural disaster happens, there are so many people looking for help that mistakes can be made and the process can be slow. Don’t panic! If something goes wrong with your insurance claim, or your settlement is taking too long, FEMA can help you. As stated in Macdonald’s article, FEMA can provide assistance with the following circumstances:
- Delayed Insurance Settlement: FEMA may loan you money if your insurance settlement is delayed longer than 30 days. But they will expect you to repay the loan when the settlement arrives.
- Your Insurance Settlement Falls Short: In the situation that the maximum payment from your settlement doesn’t cover your disaster-related needs, FEMA may help pay the difference.
- Additional Living Expenses Exhausted: If you’ve used all of your insurance company’s maximum loss-of-use settlement, FEMA may be able to help with your disaster-related temporary housing needs.
3. Rebuild or Move?
After all of these steps are taken care of, you must make a decision. Should you rebuild your home or find a new place to live. If you choose to rebuild you must hire a contractor. It is important to be aware of con artists who might try to scam you.
For tips on how to avoid being mistreated, visit our blog, “How To Avoid Being Scammed In The Wake of a Natural Disaster”. The best way to make sure that the contractor you find is trustworthy and reliable is to use the resources that Appinall has to offer you.
Our team understands the immense difficulty that people go through when their homes are destroyed during natural disasters, and want to do everything we can to help them recover. Our communication app connects people with contractors who are trustworthy and do an excellent job. Save yourself the time and effort trying to find an acceptable contractor, and let Appinall assist you. The next time a natural disaster strikes at you, you will be prepared.