Take care of your pets.
If you have a missing pet, contact the SPCA or local pound. Pets may be injured and can suffer stress too. Do not neglect your pets. Make sure you have suitable amounts of water and food access to your pets during this time of crisis. If you are required to stay in a hotel or other lodging where housing pets is restrictive, elicit the help of family members where you can, or contact a local shelter for housing your pet. Most insurance policies will cover all living expenses, including those incurred by pet expenses. Be sure to review your policy BEFORE encountering a disaster.
If you cannot live on the premises due to an emergency and will be relocated for more than a few days, be sure to notify all your important contacts. Notify the post office, banks, schools, employers, credit card companies, utility companies, and any other family or friends who need access to your new address.
If you were forced to leave the property due to a disaster, you would eventually want to return to retrieve your possessions and take proper stock of the damage. By dealing with an emergency restoration company like Flood Tech, they will make sure to document everything before and during the emergency service. This is important when dealing with the insurance company. There must always be properly documented proof readily accessible to validate your claim. Our documentation process will help expedite the claim and help avoid any processing delays.
Stay out of damaged buildings.
If the building has severe structural damage, re-enter can often be unsafe. Even the slightest pressure of walking on compromised beams can cause them to collapse, often leading to more damage or even risks to your health. Return only when professionally assessed and deemed safe to return.
Before going inside, allow our Emergency Disaster Recovery Specialist to do a property walkthrough for an inspection.
They will check for signs of damage or danger and look for fallen trees or objects that may cause further damage. They will also make sure to check the foundation, roof, chimney and steps for any signs of stress damage and look for broken or cracked basement walls.
Do not go inside if there is standing water around the property. The water could be carrying electricity.
You must ensure you have taken pictures of the property BEFORE anyone enters it. The best option is to contact an Emergency Disaster Recovery Specialist from Flood Tech and have us document these things for you, as we know what the insurance company will need when it comes time to submit the content and emergency reports for claim processing.
If you must enter the building, use extreme caution.
Do not all enter at once. Have only one person enter and carefully walk the house one level at a time. Building damage may occur where you least expect it. Keep your inspection to a bare minimum. The less you walk around, the less likely you are to create more damage. Photograph anything that looks out of place, or you suspect may have been affected by the emergency. You will need to provide this to the Emergency Disaster Recovery Specialist so they can help you properly submit a complete and thorough claim to your insurance company.
If you smell gas or hear a hissing / blowing noise, open a window and quickly leave the building.
Do NOT remain inside. EVEN IF YOU HAVE BELONGINGS, YOU STILL WANT TO GRAB THEM! Contact the gas company and other emergency services immediately. Notify your next-door neighbour so that they may stay a safe distance in case of an explosion.
Examine doors, walls, windows, staircases and floors to make sure the building is not in any danger of collapsing.
This step should only be done by a trained professional who understands engineering and foundation integrity. If you decide to go inside, you should constantly watch your step and not attempt to walk on any floors or stairs that have been directly affected by the disaster, as their integrity could be heavily compromised.
Signs of electrical system damage.
If you see sparks or broken/frayed wires, or smell burning insulation or wood, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box or circuit breaker. Accessing the main circuit breaker requires walking through any wet or underwater areas. STOP AND WALK AWAY. There is an EXTREMELY high risk of electrical shock. Contact the electrical company and have them disconnect the electricity on the outside of the house at the main junction box.
Keep track of all your expenses.
If you spend any money directly due to the emergency service (insurance coverage often includes all living expenses as well), keep the receipts in a separate folder and mark that folder “emergency incident expenses.”
The first thing you need to decide is how you plan to cover the emergency service expenses. This is the perfect time to review your insurance policy and understand what your coverage entitles you to. Here is what you need to know about your insurance coverage before making an informed decision: