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What to do after a disaster

The aftermath of any disaster can be stressful. While disaster recovery is generally a gradual process, the following steps can help you get back on your feet faster. 

 

Here is what you can do immediately after a disaster:

 

  1. List yourself and your family as safe on the American Red Cross website. You may also want to check in on social media platforms you use, letting concerned friends and family members know you’re all right. 
  2. Contact your insurer as soon as possible.
  3. Go to FEMA’s DisasterAssistance.govwebsite or call 800.621.3362 to apply for assistance.
  4. Keep receipts for items purchased when you’re not able to access your home, including toiletries, clothing, food and temporary housing. These expenses may be reimbursed under your insurance policy.
  5. Check with your local post office to confirm that they will hold mail for impacted homes. If you are unable to get to your home, set up a post office box and have your mail forwarded to it. 
  6. When you are able to return to your home, assess your property, thoroughly document the damage with photographs and notes and take steps to prevent any further damage if it’s safe to do so.
  7. The debris in your home may be hazardous and you may need professional help disposing of it. Do not remove any debris until it has been assessed by your insurance company. If you can, have your home inventory ready to help with your claim. 

 

For more information, talk to a AAA Insurance agent or visit your local branch office.