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After A DisasterSpotting and Documenting Storm DamageJust had a storm blow through your town? Here Stephen Hadhazi, a public insurance adjuster and publisher of DocuDamage.com, an educational consumer website, offers his top tips on how to spot and document storm damage.Securing a Damaged HomeHere's what to do to safeguard your home after a storm or disaster.Safely Reentering an Evacuated HomeBe safe, be smart. If you've been displaced, all you may be able to think about is getting back home. Wait!Replacing Valuable DocumentsHere is contact information for replacing documents and records that have been damaged, destroyed or lost.Rebuilding and Renovating a Damaged HomeAny form of construction can be a lengthy process. Here are some starter tips to get started. Moving Back Home After a DisasterWhile it's very difficult to do, think of this as an extremely extended camping trip as you cope over the next few weeks and months.How to Choose a Contractor or RestorerHiring a contractor or a restorer can be costly, but professionals may be the best way to remove water and mold and get the job done right. Plus, professional restorers can provide helpful hints to prevent further damage.Home Repair and Renovation Steps to FollowFollow these steps to make sure your post-disaster restoration or rebuilding project is done right the first time.Documenting Fire and Storm DamageIf possible, document the internal and external damage ASAP. Talk with recovery officials regarding safety issues you should be aware of - safety first! - as well as key areas/items you should take pictures of.Cleaning Your Home After a Fire or StormAfter your insurance company representative has assessed the damage, you need to make a decision regarding the cleaning of your home and possessions.Home Safety After a DisasterWhat to know about utility service after a disaster.

Moving Back Home After a Disaster

While it's very difficult to do, think of this as an extremely extended camping trip as you cope over the next few weeks and months.

Be safe. Be smart. Be patient.

This is a time of emotional and physical stress. Look after yourself and your family during cleanup and repairs.

Keep a manageable schedule. Make a list and do one job at a time.

Rest often and remember to eat.

Even when there are shingles to be stapled, playtime with children is time well spent.

Food Safety

Your fridge may have been off for some time. Think of it as a picnic basket that's been left too long in the sun, and rifle through it accordingly.

Power outage? Some foods may be spoiled.

Do not consume any food, beverages and medicine exposed to flood waters, mud or other contaminants.

Don't assume frozen food is safe to eat.

Read our Federal Food Safety Guidelines on what foods could be contaminated and which items may be salvaged. Remember: When in doubt, throw it out.

Water Safety

Think of water in your yard as swamp water. Waterborne illnesses may be present.

Do not allow children to play in floodwater areas, make sure you and your family wash your hands frequently (always before meals)

Do not allow children to play with flood-water-contaminated toys that have not been disinfected.

WHN Reader Tip: Clean Zone
Make a "clean zone" to play, eat and sleep in. Choose a dry, non-contaminated area to keep toys and important items. Try to stay in the clean zone as much as possible and keep it clean.

Avoid drinking tap water until or unless an authority gives the OK; public supplies may be contaminated. Undamaged water heaters or melted ice cubes are good sources of fresh drinking water.

To protect yourself from mosquitoes, use screens on dwellings, and wear long-sleeved and long-legged clothing. Use insect repellent. Read our Protection Against Mosquitoes article for more information about safe protection from bites and disease.

Clothing

When you shop or ask for clothing from relief workers, imagine that you're filling your backpack. A surprising number of people forget to ask relief workers for underwear and socks, including long underwear for cold nights.

Cleaning

Read our Cleaning Your Home After a Fire or Storm article for tips on cleaning your clothing, walls, carpets, important papers, furniture, photographs, etc.

Toxic cleaning products and solvents may have been blown from their cabinets or your neighbors' garages. Steer clear. Do not try to clean up the toxics yourself. Call a professional or emergency worker for assistance.

After A DisasterSpotting and Documenting Storm DamageJust had a storm blow through your town? Here Stephen Hadhazi, a public insurance adjuster and publisher of DocuDamage.com, an educational consumer website, offers his top tips on how to spot and document storm damage.Securing a Damaged HomeHere's what to do to safeguard your home after a storm or disaster.Safely Reentering an Evacuated HomeBe safe, be smart. If you've been displaced, all you may be able to think about is getting back home. Wait!Replacing Valuable DocumentsHere is contact information for replacing documents and records that have been damaged, destroyed or lost.Rebuilding and Renovating a Damaged HomeAny form of construction can be a lengthy process. Here are some starter tips to get started. Moving Back Home After a DisasterWhile it's very difficult to do, think of this as an extremely extended camping trip as you cope over the next few weeks and months.How to Choose a Contractor or RestorerHiring a contractor or a restorer can be costly, but professionals may be the best way to remove water and mold and get the job done right. Plus, professional restorers can provide helpful hints to prevent further damage.Home Repair and Renovation Steps to FollowFollow these steps to make sure your post-disaster restoration or rebuilding project is done right the first time.Documenting Fire and Storm DamageIf possible, document the internal and external damage ASAP. Talk with recovery officials regarding safety issues you should be aware of - safety first! - as well as key areas/items you should take pictures of.Cleaning Your Home After a Fire or StormAfter your insurance company representative has assessed the damage, you need to make a decision regarding the cleaning of your home and possessions.Home Safety After a DisasterWhat to know about utility service after a disaster.