If you and your family are victims of a natural disaster, it’s essential to understand how the event may affect your property. You should be familiar with any insurance coverage you have and what to look for with any damage to your home and belongings. If you’re worried about the safety of your property for your family, read this list below for tips on how to protect your home after a natural disaster.

Call the Fire Department Immediately

After a natural disaster, you must immediately call your local fire department to receive advice on protecting your property. Fire departments are dispatched to fires every 23 seconds in the United States. Even if there is no visible sign of fire, fire departments are equipped with paramedics, teams that can check for natural gas leaks, and other specialty services you might need after a natural disaster.

No matter what type of natural disaster you’ve faced, from earthquakes, destroying your home to floods damaging your belongings, paramedics and the fire department can help. Getting help sooner rather than later is critical for your safety and the safety of your property. Your fire department and paramedics will also give you a medical exam to ensure everyone in your home is safe and healthy.

Call Your Insurance

Every year, hail storms cause $15 billion in damages to homes, cars, and crops in the United States. You should call your insurance company immediately if your home’s been damaged due to hail, high winds, floods, or other natural disaster-related causes. Depending on your policy type, your insurance company may cover costs for repairs and replacements.

The sooner you get in touch with your insurer, the better your chance of getting coverage for damage to your home. The sooner you call them after natural disaster damage, the better your chance of receiving the coverage you need. For instance, if a flood has impacted various houses in your neighborhood, chances are those homeowners are also calling their insurance companies simultaneously. Talking to an agent sooner can also give you peace of mind, and start budgeting as soon as possible.

Check for Structural Problems

After a natural disaster, you should check for structural problems in your home or belongings. For example, if your home has been damaged due to an earthquake, it’s essential to check for any internal damage. This damage could be anything from cracks in the walls or ceiling to broken pipes.

Check for fallen trees, broken windows, and other damage a natural disaster could cause. Structural damage should be your priority after an event. Not only can it cause further damage to your belongings, but it can also threaten your and your family’s safety. For instance, burst gas lines could be a danger after an Earthquake. You should also take a look around your home for any outdoor damage.

Seek Professional Help

If you’re not sure how to assess the damage done to your home and belongings, seek professional help. Home inspectors can accurately assess the damage and what needs to be done after a natural disaster. Professional contractors can accurately estimate how much your repairs will cost, and they’ll help you figure out what kind of insurance coverage is needed. For instance, repairing flooring costs about $350.

When shopping for contractors, consider their experience, expertise, and reviews. You should also ensure the contractor you hire is licensed to do the job if your state requires it. If working with an insurance company, ask your insurer if they’ve pre-approved contractors to work on your home.

Ultimately, doing the necessary research ensures your home and belongings are safe after a natural disaster. Be sure to seek professional help, call your insurance company, and get advice from your fire department or paramedics. All the above will help you and your family stay safe and get the coverage you need in a natural disaster.