Picking Up the Pieces: Take Control with Post-Storm Recovery Tips

 

Hurricanes and severe storms can leave a path of destruction, and the aftermath can feel overwhelming. But amidst the chaos, there’s a path to recovery. This guide outlines the crucial steps homeowners in a hurricane-prone area like Houston can take to restore their homes in the immediate aftermath, the weeks following, and the long-term rebuilding process.

By following the steps below, you can ensure that your storm recovery is as painless as possible.

Short-Term (First 24-72 Hours): Prioritize Safety and Basic Needs During Storm Recovery

Wait for the All-Clear: Don’t rush back into your home until authorities have declared it safe. Downed power lines, damaged structures, and floodwaters pose serious dangers.

Assess the Damage: Once it’s safe, carefully inspect your property from a safe distance. Look for structural damage, roof leaks, downed trees, and gas leaks. If you smell gas, evacuate immediately and call the gas company. In Houston, you can call 311 to report downed power lines and trees.

Secure Your Home: Board up broken windows and doors with plywood to prevent further damage from wind and rain and deter potential looters.

Document Everything: Take photos and videos of all damage to your property, both inside and out. This will be crucial for insurance claims later, including when you need to contact a roofing company such as M&M Roofing to help with any type of roof damage.

Contact Your Insurance Company: File an insurance claim with your insurance company as soon as possible, especially if you notice roof damage, wind damage, or hail damage. M&M Roofing will guide you through the claims process and help you understand your insurance claim details.

Meet Basic Needs: Stock up on bottled water, non-perishable food, and essential hygiene supplies. If power is out, consider using a battery-powered radio for updates and locating shelters if needed.

Mid-Term (Weeks 1-4): Address Immediate Repairs and Living Conditions from Storm Damage

Clear Debris: Once authorized, start clearing debris from your property. Be cautious and wear protective gear like gloves, sturdy shoes, and long pants. Consider hiring professional help for large or hazardous debris.

Make Temporary Repairs: Patch up minor roof leaks with tarps to prevent further water damage. Board up additional broken windows and doors as needed. For more major leaks or roof damage, M&M Roofing offers emergency remediation services due to storm damage.

Sanitize and Clean Up: Floodwater can harbor bacteria and microorganisms. Wear gloves and boots when cleaning flooded areas and disinfect surfaces with a bleach solution. If this becomes a concern, consider seeking professional mold remediation services.

Inventory Belongings: Take stock of damaged belongings. Separate salvageable items from those beyond repair. Keep detailed records of lost or damaged possessions for insurance purposes.

Power and Utilities: Contact utility companies to restore power, water, and gas service. Never attempt to restore utilities yourself unless qualified to do so.

Temporary Housing: If your home is uninhabitable, explore temporary housing options. This could involve staying with family or friends or seeking assistance from FEMA or local organizations.

Storm Recovery

Long-Term (Months and Beyond): Rebuilding and Renewal After Storm Damage

Permanent Repairs: Once the initial clean-up is complete, it’s time for permanent repairs. Work with qualified, insured contractors for repairs like roof replacement, structural repairs, and electrical work.

M&M Roofing offers free roof inspections to help with storm and hurricane recovery. With over 40 years of experience and highly trained experts, we can ensure that your roof is protected from future storm damage.

Flood Insurance: If your home sustained flood damage, understand what your flood insurance covers and the claims process. Flood insurance is separate from homeowner’s insurance and may require additional documentation.

Financial Assistance: Explore federal and local assistance programs available to help with rebuilding costs. FEMA may offer grants or low-interest loans to qualified homeowners. Local charities and nonprofit organizations might also offer support.

Emotional Wellbeing: Recovering from a hurricane can be emotionally draining. Don’t hesitate to seek emotional support if needed. Talk to friends, family, or mental health professionals.

Building Back Stronger: As you rebuild, consider incorporating hurricane-resistant features like storm shutters, impact-resistant windows, and the right type of roof that can withstand hurricane and storm damage. These can help minimize damage and protect your home in future storms.

M&M Roofing’s expert roofers will assess your roof during a free consultation and will recommend the best roofing materials for your house. In addition, we offer emergency leak repair services and use advanced sealing materials designed to hold up to extreme weather conditions.

Additional Resources:

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)

Texas Department of Insurance

Remember, recovering from a hurricane is a marathon, not a sprint. Be patient, prioritize your safety and well-being, and don’t hesitate to seek help from qualified professionals, like M&M Roofing, and resources. With time, perseverance, and a strong support system, you can rebuild your home and ensure that you’re prepared for whatever storm damage might occur.

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