Plan now for springtime weather extremes

 

Spring is the time for extreme weather including tornadoes and flooding.  The affects on both your home and business can be devastating. Now is the time to plan for the unexpected.

The Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) has outlined key steps to help residents and business owners work toward recovery.

Protect yourself.  Always be careful when entering a damaged building.  If there is serious structural damage, contact local officials before entering.  Report downed power lines or gas leaks.  Keep electricity turned off if the building has been flooded.

Protect your property.  Take reasonable steps to protect your property from further damage.  This could mean boarding up windows and salvaging undamaged items.  Your insurance company can tell you what they will pay for regarding protection.

Report the loss as soon as possible.  Contact your insurance agent or insurer as soon as you can.  Provide a general description of the damage and have your policy number handy if possible.  Write down the adjuster’s name, phone number and work schedule as soon as you have them.

Prepare a list.  Keep damaged items or portions of them until the claim adjuster has visited, and consider photographing or videotaping the damage to document your claim.  Prepare a list of damaged or lost items for your adjuster.

Keep receipts.  If you need to relocate, keep records and receipts for all additional expenses.  Most insurance policies cover emergency living arrangements.

Return claim forms.  After your insurance company has been notified of your claim, it must send you the necessary claim forms within a certain number of days (time period varies by state).  Fill out and return the forms as soon as possible.  If you do not understand the process, be sure to ask questions and write down the explanation.

Cleanup.  When starting the cleanup process, be careful, and use protective eyewear and gloves if available. Adjusters may tell business owners to hire a professional cleaning service.

Build stronger next time.  When you’re ready to start repairs or rebuild, work with your contractor to make the new structure disaster-resistant. 

This information was taken from the IBHS publications “You Can Go Home Again” and “Getting Back to Business.” For more recovery and rebuilding information, visit the IBHS website www.disastersafety.org.

Posted 3:02 PM  View Comments

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