The devastating and overwhelming nature of the hurricane recovery process can leave you scrambling for the correct course of action. High winds and floodwaters can potentially wreak havoc on residential structures, even with your completion of effective damage prevention tactics beforehand. Simply accessing your neighborhood to make it home can take an immense amount of time and effort. You can rely on this helpful guide to breeze through the hurricane recovery process and smoothly transition back to living at home.
Acquire the Medical Care You Need
Before you even think about turning your attention to your home, you should acquire all the medical care you and your family needs. By taking care of yourself and your family, you can help prevent complications or worsening symptoms during your recovery efforts. Work with physicians and mental health practitioners to fully heal from the effects of the disaster before heading home to handle hurricane recovery.
Call Your Insurance Agent and Inquire About Financial Assistance Programs
Your insurance agent will require a call to start processing your claim for the storm damage. Make sure to provide a clear picture of the damage and set up an adjuster visit to assess the state of your home and property. Take the time to look into financial assistance programs offered through the local and federal government to acquire additional support in your cleanup efforts. You may qualify for cleanup assistance or financial support that covers a portion or all of the damage sustained by your house and land.
Equip Yourself with Personal Protective Equipment
Before you even enter your property, equip yourself with personal protective equipment. You should wear a protective suit that tucks into your thick gloves and work boots. Goggles and a personal respirator are also necessary, as you may come into contact with contaminated floodwaters, mold and mildew, and hazardous debris, as you assess the damage in and around your home.
Work on Drying Out the Interior of Your Home
If your home was affected by floodwaters or damaged enough to let rainwater inside, you will need to start the recovery process by drying out the interior of your home. First and foremost, open your windows and doors to ventilate your living space as you work inside. If your home is still flooded, set up a utility pump to pull the standing water out of your home and send it flowing into the nearest outside drain. You may also need to partially pull back carpets and set up high powered fans to quickly evaporate the remaining moisture on your walls and floors.
Go Through Food and Throw Out Spoiled Items
During a hurricane, it is common for whole neighborhoods to lose power as the high-speed wind and water damages utility poles and power lines. If your home was out of power for any length of time, you will need to check the food in your fridge and freezer for spoilage. Freezer food that has fully thawed out is likely spoiled, so throw it all out. Furthermore, perishable food in the fridge can only last about four hours without going bad. You should also check the cupboards and get rid of anything that made any contact with floodwaters.
Verify the Proper Function of All Utilities
Check the function of your major appliances and utilities to verify that you have access to running water, power and a fully functional HVAC system. If you notice any utilities are non-functional, you can contact your local servicer to acquire more information and the expected repair time for that system. The utility company may let you know that other people in your area have access to those services, indicating that the problem lies within your property lines. If so, you will need to have repair technicians come out and take a look to restore your vital utility services or repair your major appliances.
Rebuild the Damaged Areas and Integrate Flood Prevention Elements
Once you have your home dried out and utilities functional again, you can focus on rebuilding the damaged areas and integrating flood prevention elements. Start with the structural and protective elements, including foundation, floor joists and windows, to restore the security of your home environment. From there, think about integrating flood prevention elements, including adding waterproof walls and floors, subfloor drainage and erosion protection, in and around your home.
By using this approach for your hurricane recovery efforts, you can return to your home in record time and even expect far less damage to occur in the next storm.