Immediate Response Actions after Flood Damage
Floods are frequent hazards in the country and the most costly when in terms of their damage to property. They have affected hundreds of homes over the years since they are often caused by incidences such as heavy rainfall, storms, and other natural factors. As such, when it happens, the following are the immediate actions which should be taken in case personal property is damaged in the process.
Secure the property
It is your responsibility to secure your property so that no more damage occurs especially after a flood. This means putting boards over broken windows and doors, as well as secure roofs and other structural components to avoid them being of danger to other people. Once secured, wait for authorities to declare the situational conditions safe before proceeding to conduct an initial assessment of your property.
Reentry into the property
Once the flood damages the property, it is always advisable not to return into damaged buildings until authorities have given the go ahead. Once safe, the next action is get around the property to check main power supply, plumbing, and other external utilities linked to the house to avoid possible electrocution, fires, or leaks that may pose danger.
Verification of building safety
This is the next critical action to take before getting into the building to perform additional assessments whose information is essential for engaging with third parties like insurances and restoration companies. For this action, ensure the building is structurally safe by looking for issues such as buckled walls and floors, as well as checking for holes or dangerous debris. If the assessment concludes the structural soundness of the property, then the following activity can be conducted.
Documentation of the property
You should record details of the property and its subsequent damage through photographs, video, and other suitable means. The property and its contents must be documented as-is so that the information can be used for claims even when reconstruction has been done.
Register damage with your insurance company
If you had insurance cover for the property, then it is appropriate to register the amount of damage with the nearest insurance agent. The claim is supposed to incorporate information collected from the above documentation phase to prove property damage and justification that the nature and extent of destruction is within the subscribed insurance cover.
File the damage with the local municipality
In addition to approaching the insurance provider, it is also appropriate to report the damage to local administrative agencies so that they can further offer support as mandated in such events. The municipality is the organ of the government that will provide construction permits and approvals essential for not only restoring the property, but also additions for mitigating the extent of damage in case a similar flooding occurs in future.
Source for restoration companies
Depending on the amount of property damage, it is advisable to seek professional services from companies specializing in damaged property restoration. There are several companies with specializations ranging from cleaning to reconstruction of the structures.