Safety After a Hurricane
- Sep. 19, 2018
- Nicole Johnson
- Home Life
Safety After a Hurricane
New American Funding is dedicated to assisting those who have experienced damage to their home or have financial difficulty due to the impact of a natural disaster. Has your home been damaged? If you’re wondering what to do if your home has been damaged, take the following steps.
Secure Safe Lodging
If your home is uninhabitable, you will need to find a safe place to stay while your home is being repaired. The loss of use coverage in a standard homeowners insurance policy often helps pay for lodging as long as the damage is part of a covered claim. Contact your local homeowner’s insurance agent to determine if you have this coverage and any limitations (monetary value, time limits, etc.).
The American Red Cross is also providing shelters, water, food, and first aid. For more information, you can call (800) 733-2767 or find your local Red Cross chapter online.
If you are unable to return to your home or if you cannot live in your home due to disaster damage, please visit: https://www.disasterassistance.gov/
More deaths and injury occur after a hurricane hits than during. Usually because people are anxious to get outside and survey the damage, so they may come in contact with downed power lines or unstable trees. Follow these suggestions for staying safe after a hurricane:
- Remain indoors until an official "all clear" is given.
- Do not touch fallen or low-hanging wires of any kind under any circumstances. Stay away from puddles with wires in or near them. Do not touch trees or other objects in contact with power lines.
- USE PHONES FOR EMERGENCIES ONLY. Call 911 only for life-threatening situations.
- Call police or utility companies immediately to report hazards such as downed power lines, broken gas or water mains, overturned gas tanks, or any other dangerous situation you come across.
- Watch for weakened roads, bridges, tree limbs or porches that could collapse unexpectedly.
- After power is restored, check refrigerated food for spoilage. (Spoiled food is the cause of much sickness two days to a week after the storm.)
- When reinstalling a CB, TV or satellite antenna, check in all directions to be sure no power lines are nearby. The same goes for climbing trees to clear debris.
- Do not operate charcoal grills, propane camping stoves or generators indoors.
Conduct Emergency Repairs
Once it is safe to gain access to your residence, do only what is necessary to prevent further damage after a storm, such as covering broken windows with plastic or covering the roof with tarps to keep rain out. Don’t make or commission permanent repairs until an insurance adjuster reviews the damage. While it may be tempting to start cleaning up and throwing out damaged items after the storm, your insurance adjuster needs to see what happened firsthand to make you the best offer to settle your claim.
Photograph and Document Damage
It is important to document the damage thoroughly with photos as it will make the insurance claims process much easier. In addition, keep a running list of all damaged items.
File a Claim with your Insurance Carrier ASAP
Insurance companies sometimes work on a first-come, first served basis, so it is important to file an insurance claim as soon as possible. When you contact your insurance carrier, let them know the extent of the damage that you have. An insurance adjuster will come to your property, assess the damage, and determine the size of your payout.
In addition to your homeowners’ insurance policy, you may be eligible for Federal Disaster Aid. If you cannot return to your home, FEMA assistance may provide temporary help with a place for you and your family to stay while you build a recovery plan. Please check the FEMA Website at the link below to determine what assistance you may qualify for: www.fema.gov
Further, if you are a participant in the National Flood Insurance Program, please visit this link for how to file a Flood Insurance Claim: https://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/120200
Having Trouble Paying Your Mortgage?
If you are having difficulty paying your New American Funding mortgage as a result of the hurricane, we may be able to assist you. Please contact us at 800-893-5304 ext. 9208 to discuss options that may be available to you.
If you have any questions, we are here to help. Please call us at 800-893-5304. We are available 7:00 am - 9:00 pm CT, Monday through Friday and Saturday from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm CT.
Find out if your area has been declared for individual assistance: https://www.disasterassistance.gov/