Natural disasters can hit at any time and it is vital that you be prepared for any event. From wildfires burning in California to tornadoes in the Midwest to hurricanes in Florida, keeping you and your family safe is a top priority. Knowing what to do in the event of an emergency gives peace of mind and your provider law firms are ready to assist you in recovering from any event.
Steps to Take
Have a Plan – Preparing for Natural Disasters should first involve creating a plan of action. This will help keep you focused on what you need to do to keep yourself safe. Research your options and create an evacuation plan of how you will get out and where you will meet up with family members in a designated place. This is especially good if you live in an area that is prone to tornadoes, wind storms, earthquakes, hurricanes and such.
Copy Important Documents – Make sure to keep copies of all of your health, auto, homeowner or renters insurance documents in a safe place where you can access them later. A bank safe deposit box is one option, or give copies to a friend or relative to hold for you. In the event, your home is destroyed having copies of your documents can speed your insurance claims and help recover your losses quicker. Make a list of all your service providers and keep close by so you can call them in an emergency such as a gas leak or power outage.
Take Pictures to Document Damage – Documenting evidence of property damage will help when it comes time to submit your insurance claims. Take photos of any property damage caused by storms, fires, or theft and keep somewhere you can have quick access to them. Never throw away or discard damaged items until after the recommendation of your insurance company. They may request something later and it will be hard to prove damage if you’ve thrown the item away.
Insurance Coverage – You will want to have the best insurance coverage that will offer you the most protection. Your provider law firm can go over your policy coverage with you and determine if any additional steps are needed. You should have comprehensive coverage for personal property in the form of renters insurance if you are not the owner of the property where you live.
Disaster Relief – Submit all important documents and file for disaster relief as soon as possible. There are many government programs and non-profit organizations designed to help families recover in the event of an emergency. If you need any assistance in filing for relief, your provider law firm can review your documents and explain the process to clear up any confusion.
Repairs – If you need to call in contractors to make repairs, be sure to talk with your insurance and utility providers to keep them informed and to comply with any requirements. When enlisting the help of a contractor, confirm they are licensed and bonded in your state. After a severe storm, scammers often pop up may try to con you with claims of fast repairs, and etc. Check out any company beforehand and have your provider law firm review any contracts before you sign.
Reviewing Documents – Protecting yourself in any type of situation is most important. Remember the suggestions above and do not sign any type of documents without having them reviewed by your provider law firm. Unfortunately, unscrupulous people try to take advantage of the misfortune of others.