When a tornado touches down, there are often a lot of questions like, “How long will it take to rebuild?” or “How much will it cost?” or even, “What do I do immediately after a tornado?” All of these are great questions. You should make sure you’re prepared for the immediate aftermath of a tornado. Check out these tips and steps to take after a tornado hits.
The first thing you should do after a tornado is stay calm. Don’t rush to make decisions, and don’t put yourself in danger by trying to leave the shelter of your home. Instead, take deep breaths, and let yourself relax as much as possible. Wait patiently for authorities to arrive with information about what happened and how safe it is for you to return home.
Check for Damage
Keep track of all damage and maintenance. If you live in an area that is hit by a tornado, it’s important to note what happened to help you get back to normal as quickly as possible.
Check for structural damage. If there are cracks in your foundation or structure of your house, get professional help right away! Even if the damage is minor, have a professional look at it (such as calling an engineer). A good contractor will be able to tell you exactly what needs repaired before anything gets worse. This hopefully prevents any major problems from developing later on down the line!
Call your insurance company if necessary. Make sure they know about everything going on around here so far. Ask them how much money would need to be spent on repairs/updates before moving forward with buying new furniture.
Make a List and Check It Twice
As you go through your home, make a list of the damaged items. If you don’t have your own list, your insurance company may create one for you based on what they see. This could result in fewer benefits to you.
Keep this list in a safe place so that it can be easily accessed later. Keeping this list helps with claims against an insurance company or government agency (like FEMA).
Remember some policies offer coverage for certain types of items even if they aren’t listed on the policy itself. This includes electronics like TVs and computers as well as jewelry such as watches and rings.
Take Photos and Videos
Take photos or video of the damage as soon as you can. Document everything for your insurance company and for buyers if you’re selling your home.
Document what happened, as well as how you fix the problem. Take photos or videos of the damage right after a tornado hits. That way, if something needs attention, you’ll know exactly where it is and how much work is needed.
Take pictures of your possessions. This will help with your insurance claim. Take photos of the damage from different angles (front, back, and side). If you have multiple items that are damaged, take photos of each item individually. If something gets broken or lost during clean up, you can replace it without having to buy another one entirely!
Throw Away Contaminated Food
You should throw away any food that has come in contact with contaminated water or debris, or that has been sitting at room temperature for more than two hours. Foods you should throw away include fruits, vegetables, meats, and anything else that might have come in contact with the water, whether it is perishable or not.
Care for Others
Don’t forget to check on those that live around you – neighbors, family members and pets. If you are a trained first aid responder, help the injured and get them to a hospital as soon as possible. If you are not a trained first aid responder, stay with the injured person until help arrives.
These are some steps to take after a tornado blows through your home and neighborhood. Give Burggraf a call for expert storm damage restoration!