As Hurricane Florence nears our coast, residents are quickly boarding up their homes, packing up their belongings and preparing for evacuation. Whether that stage of natural disaster preparedness is behind you and you’ve begun your journey to a safer spot further inland or you haven’t quite left Charleston yet, your mind is likely drifting toward thinking about what happens after the storm. How do you recover? What steps need to be taken to address any damage and get your family back to a more normal routine as quickly as possible? There are several tips the experts recommend. Let’s take a look at a few.
After you’ve evacuated and the storm has passed, it’s natural to want to run back to your home as quickly as possible. You want to assess the damage, get started with any necessary cleanup and file your claims for repairs as quickly as possible. All of these ideas are smart. However, make sure that before you enter your property, you know it’s safe to do so. Downed power lines, trees that damage gas lines and other such hazards can make simply walking in your front door extremely dangerous. To protect yourself, walk around the perimeter of your home first. Look for indications of any structural damage such as cracks in the walls or any signs of warping or buckling. Also notice if there are any trees that have fallen. If you suspect that dangers might lurk inside your home, talk to local officials before stepping foot inside.
Protect Your Property
Once you know it’s safe to go inside your home, work your way from room to room to assess any damage. If any concerns are evident, consider what you might be able to do to minimize damage to your property. Boarding up a broken window, putting a tarp over a section of the roof or moving furniture out of the way of a leak could save you a lot of money when it comes time to make repairs. If you do need to make any of these temporary repairs, take photographs of the space both before and after you make any changes. These could prove important when making your insurance claim, and they may provide you with proof if trying to obtain extra reimbursement for any out of pocket expenses for materials or labor costs.
Cleanup around Your Home
While some cleanup jobs require assistance from a professional contractor, it is possible to take on some tasks yourself. Cleaning up yard debris, sweeping up broken glass or cutting down some tree limbs are examples of tasks you might be able to do on your own. Before doing so, make sure you have the right equipment, and always wear protective gear like safety glasses and gloves. If your work involves touching electrical lines or cleaning up extensive water damage, keep in mind that it’s usually best, and safest, to call in a professional.
Build Your Home to Withstand Hurricanes
Many families find the need to take on a home remodel after a hurricane. This is usually the case when damage is extensive and insurance claim representatives make recommendations to replace a roof, rebuild walls or extensively repair a kitchen or living room to remedy water damage. If you do find the need to renovate, consider building smarter. Many innovative construction practices can help your home to better withstand hurricane force winds and heavy rains. Making the right building choices now could help you to prevent extensive damage in the future. Discuss your concerns with your general contractor and ask for their recommendations to better protect your home.
Safety is the primary concern when a major storm hits, so your focus must be on protecting your family first. However, it’s natural to worry about your home and your belongings too. After the hurricane passes, take time to evaluate your damage and begin the process of making repairs. Alair Homes Charleston calls this area home, and it is our goal to support our friends and neighbors by providing reliable, cost effective home renovation services to make recovering from this disaster easier. If we can help, contact us and let us know.