What To Do After a Natural Disaster

A house devastated by a natural disaster with debris in front of it.

Natural disasters are inevitable. They can happen anytime, anywhere and in any manner. Be it a flood, hurricane, earthquake or any other natural calamity, the unfortunate occurrence always leave damage—to life and property alike.

So what do you do after the tragedy? When do you do it and how do you do it? These are the questions we aim to answer and address in this article.

1) Make Sure Your Family and Friends Are Safe

The first and most natural thing to do after a disaster hits is making sure that your loved ones are safe and sound. If you have them by your side, check up on them for potentially dangerous untreated wounds. If you find one, go to the nearest hospital or call for an emergency ambulance as soon as possible.

If they are not by your side, try reaching out to them through their mobile numbers or in any other possible means of communication.

According to the official government website of the United States, you can get the help of the following organizations in looking for your missing family or friends:

  1. You may contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) if you are looking for a lost child. This organization also handles the Unaccompanied Minors Registry.
  1. You may also ask the aid of the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUS) in case you are looking for a missing person. The program can help with printing missing person posters, getting free forensic services like DNA analysis, and more.
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2) Hire a Reliable Restoration Company

It is advisable to hire a restoration company first before calling your insurance company. This is because not all property damage needs insurance coverage. As we all know, some insurances have high deductibles. These deductibles can be so much higher than the damage caused by a disaster to your home.

To avoid this inequitable settlement and reserve the insurance claim for a graver damage (hopefully not soon though!), the restoration company you choose to hire can give you advice on whether or not an insurance claim is worth it.

Moreover, some disaster relief companies in the United States, Disaster Restoration San Diego for one, can handle all the stress of dealing with your insurance company for you.

3) Call Your Insurance Company

After dealing with your restoration company, you may now call your insurance company and discuss possible compensation and the overall expenses that shall be estimated based on evidence.

Note though, that insurance companies must be called right away lest your claim may be forfeited or denied according to the terms of your contract. So after sorting out things with your restoration company, be sure to call your insurance company within a reasonable timeframe.

4) If Safe, Return Home For The Retrieval Of Important Documents

Before attempting to enter your house/property, be sure to first check up on potential hazards such as loose power lines, gas leaks, loose boards, and slippery floors. To prevent illness and diseases, carefully dispose of garbages and other hazardous materials.

After that, look for salvageable documents. If the documents are completely destroyed or ruined in such a way that it cannot serve the purpose for which it was intended, you may get replacement copies of your vital documents after a disaster in the proper government offices.

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