The safety of your family and pets is always the most important focus. Once the security of your family is assured, the next step is to begin the process of assessment and restoration. These five (5) steps serve as the stepping-stones to restoration both in physical environment and your emotional well being.
1. Assess– After the storm it is important to understand what damage your home or business has sustained. Some damage may be easy to see but other damage may be harder to spot. Consider using a person qualified for structural repair to best advise you as to the integrity of your structure or the safety of areas that may not be visible outwardly.
2. Document– Your initial reaction may be try to repair the damage. However, it is important that before you act, you document the damage which can be used later to help support your insurance claim. The documentation can be achieved using photographs or videos. Your smart phone is a valuable tool to help you document the damage.
3. Gather- Locate if possible the contact information and copies of your insurance policies. You may have both homeowners and flood insurance or another type of supplemental policy. The goal is to contact information from your provider in preparation of you making a claim.
4. File- It is important to file or make a claim with your insurer. The insurer will provide to you their instructions on their process to file a claim. During this time, it is important to keep a record of the insurance representatives you have worked with and also a brief summary of each contact with the insurer.
5. Breathe- While the focus remains on repair and restoration of your physical environment, do not forget to take care of your emotional well being. In times of stress, sometimes the process of a simple breath can help provide a feeling of calmness. Try taking a deep breath in and then silently count to four as your breath in. Hold your breath and silently count to 7. Breathe out completely and while doing so silently count out to 8. You may not be able to hold your breath for the full 7 count but find the count which is the best for you. The most important thing is to remember to take the time to rest even if in small moments of breathing.