During a disaster it can be hard to think clearly. Here are some important tips for you to know:
1. Go to a Red Cross station. Hopefully there you’ll get a debit card to get you through the next few days to buy stuff like clothing, toiletries, etc.
2. Contact your insurance company. If your car is insured with the same company as your home, you have their phone # on the insurance card in your glove compartment. Your insurance company should be able to get you in a temporary hotel immediately and set up temporary residence shortly after.
3. Start logging EVERYTHING! Your mind will be spinning. You’ll think you’ll remember stuff but you won’t. Log every contact from every name of every person who has contacted you. The fireman, the fire marshal, even friends who offer you help, money, food, clothes, etc. Later you’ll want to thank these people and you’ll have a list of those who to thank and how they helped you. That really meant a lot to me, to be able to thank everyone who came to our aid.
4. Go to the bank and get some cash. I was amazed how good old money in wallet was able to help me get stuff that a credit card might not have.
5. If you’ve lost a car, get a rental.
6. Keep every receipt you’ll spend from the initial loss through the whole ordeal. Every meal, every tank of gas, everything. It’s all now related to your fire and re-reimbursable if it’s something you wouldn’t have spent if you didn’t have a fire.
7. Even if you’ve only been evacuated and end up not loosing anything to fire, your expenses while displaced are all covered by your homeowner’s policy. It’s called “Loss Of Use”. Keep those receipts, logs and records in order to recover your expenses.”
8. Start making a list of EVERYTHING you can remember about your home/business. Imagine walking through your property. Start with the front of the property and mentally walk your way through every nook and cranny of the property.
9. Save any medical documents incurred during the tragedy including mental health docs.
10. Take a deep breath, we are here to help!!