Preparing for Home Disasters

Our hearts go out to the thousands of Hurricane Gustav, Hurricane Ike and Tropical Storm Fay victims. As we keep them in our thoughts, it is also a good time to remind ourselves that water damage can happen to anyone at anytime.  I am living proof.

There are a number of things I wish I had done to prepare myself to handle my own disaster recovery experience before the accident happened. I hope to make things easier for the next homeowner by sharing them in this post.

Check your insurance coverage: In these times of seemingly endless natural disasters and household accidents, it is absolutely imperative to check your homeowners insurance policy coverage. It is very common to be underinsured and important to ask yourself where the money will come from — whether you are repairing a kitchen floor or having to completely rebuild your home.

Build your home repair rolodex now: Maintain an ongoing list of reliable contractors, sub-contractors and insurance professionals before a potential disaster strikes. It can take months to find a reasonably-priced and reliable contractor, so waiting until an accident happens can significantly slow your home repairs.

Store receipts in a safe place: When a home disaster strikes, the chaos of emergency services can make it difficult, if not impossible, to gather important documents you will need to negotiate your insurance settlement. Keep your personal property purchase receipts and recent home improvement records in one place, preferably in a water-proof container in an elevated location.

Formulate your recovery plan: Have a backup plan in terms of where you would go if your home became uninhabitable, how you would keep your family and valuables safe and how you would manage a home restoration along with your full-time job. Trust me, it’s harder than it sounds.

Know in advance where to go for help. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners is a great destination for help with insurance claims. The National Association of Homebuilders has excellent advice on how to find responsible contractors. And, of course, www.harvardtohardhat.com will continue to offer free advice on all these topics.

 

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One Response to “Preparing for Home Disasters”

  1. Bayou Woman Says:

    Hi. Thanks for visiting my blog at Bayou Woman! I don’t have a lot of time on this borrowed computer internet, so I have to be brief. Did you flood from Katrina? Meaning, are you in S. La.? And you wrote From H to H, and is it a book? Where can I find it? I will not be able to return to my flooded home this time, and I am in a quandry as to what I can affordably do. How can we get together? I’m not sure I could afford your services, but I could buy your book for sure!!! Please write me at my email captainwendy@wetlandtours.com and I should have internet by the 15th. Thanks so much!
    Wendy aka Bayou Woman

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