When a disaster strikes and destroys your residential or commercial property, it’s a difficult and stressful situation to deal with. The flames of a fire engulf anything in its way, and the corrosive byproducts continue to cause damage to any remaining property and belongings even after the fire has been extinguished. Excess water and moisture weakens building materials and jeopardizes the building’s structure. Mold growth can also weaken structures as it eats away at whatever materials it has grown on.
Whether the damage is done by water, mold, or a fire, you must act immediately to have the damage repaired and to prevent it from worsening. But, in the moment, you may feel overwhelmed and unsure of what to do, and that’s understandable. You may even feel panicked and want to act on your own to respond to the damage. However, it’s important that you don’t do anything that can worsen the damage. Rather, in the aftermath of a disaster, prioritize everyone’s safety, and remember who you need to contact.
Continue reading to learn what immediate actions you need to take and who you need to call in the aftermath of a disaster.
Call Emergency Responders and Utility Companies
No matter the type of disaster, you need to prioritize your and everyone’s safety and well-being. So if anyone needs emergency personnel to attend to them, be sure to call 911 to get ambulances onsite. If you need your local fire department to extinguish a fire, then call 911 to get them to your home or building. However, if it is not safe to be in the area, don’t stay there and wait for assistance. While it’s understandable to worry about your property and want to make sure it’s taken care of, your safety and well-being is more important.
In some instances, you will want to contact certain utility companies, because it can limit the amount of damage done. For example, if your property has flooded, you should shut off the power to prevent electric shocks, but it isn’t always safe to do it yourself. In such a case, call your power company and ask them to turn off your electricity.
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Inform Your Insurance Company
After making sure that everyone is safe, accounted for, and has gotten the help they need, you need to get in touch with your insurance company so that you can file a claim for the damage. Your insurance provider will send someone over to your property to inspect the damage.
It’s important that you don’t mess with your property or any damage it has suffered. Your insurance company will need evidence of the damage, so trying to clean up or salvage anything can affect the claims process. Instead, work with the insurance adjuster to figure out what steps to take and how to handle the claims process. Some of the things that the adjuster will likely ask are what caused the damage, where is the damage, what is the extent of the damage, and how has the damage left your property vulnerable to outside forces and elements.
The sooner you get in touch with your insurance company, the better, because then it means you’ll be able to proceed with the restoration process sooner. This is important, because as with any disaster, it’s best to have repairs and restoration done promptly to avoid additional damage.
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Contact a Disaster Restoration Company
After working with your insurance provider to file the claim, they may recommend restoration companies to use, but you can also choose a company on your own. Regardless of which company you select to handle the emergency restoration for your property, the restoration company and your insurance company will maintain contact, working together to remain updated on the restoration work.
As aforementioned, it’s important to get in contact with a restoration company right away, because it prevents the damage from worsening. For example, with water-damaged properties, the harm worsens with time and will encourage mold growth. With fire-damaged properties, secondary damage done by corrosive byproducts is often worse than the initial damage done by the flames, and it can quickly become permanent, too.
Choose the right restoration company – look for the following:
– 24/7 support so you can quickly get the help you need.
– Fast response times to mitigate as much damage as possible.
– Certified and trained staff.
At ServiceMaster DAK, our restoration professionals provide emergency restoration services to residential and commercial properties throughout the North Shore and the north and northwest Chicago suburbs. We know how important it is to respond to disasters as soon as possible, which is why we are available on a 24/7/365 basis. So no matter when a disaster strikes and damages your property, we are prepared and equipped to help minimize your loss and restore your home or business. From water damage restoration to fire damage restoration, ServiceMaster DAK has a full range of professional disaster restoration services that will help your property get repaired and restored to its previous condition.