Six Services Needed After a Storm

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The Red Guide to Recovery Newsletter
March / April 2016

LESSONS LEARNED: SIX SERVICES NEEDED AFTER A STORM
With more El Niño storms on the way and tornado season right around the corner, protecting your home from severe weather and being prepared to recover is crucial. There are six specific services you may find yourself in need of if your home gets damaged by wind, hail, rain, or flooding. More often than not, these services can be extremely difficult to find after a storm, especially if high winds, large hail, or a tornado causes wide scale devastation. Keep in mind that severe storms can overwhelm local resources, causing a shortage of manpower, equipment, and material. This often sets the stage for price gouging, scams, theft, and other problems brought on by the influx of fly-by-night contractors who chase disasters and prey on vulnerable disaster survivors.

As part of your disaster preparedness planning, you need to know who to call in the event your home gets damaged and here are six of the most common services you may need:

1] A Roofing Contractor

If your roof is damaged by wind, hail, or a tree that falls on it, you'll need a roofer to come out and tarp the roof or make emergency repairs until permanent repairs can be made.

2] A Tree Service

After a storm, it is common to see fallen trees on roads, yards, and even on homes. A professional tree service will have all the right tools and equipment to remove a fallen tree and haul it away. (TIP: If a tree falls through your roof, any electrical wires and/or gas lines in the attic are likely to get damaged. This can cause a fire or an explosion! Know where and how to shutoff the electricity and gas in your home. See Chapter 11 in The Red Guide to Recovery - Resource Handbook for Disaster Survivors for more information.)

3] A Fencing Contractor

Wood fences don't fare well when it comes to high winds, especially if the fencing is older or if the posts are rotted. If your fence gets damaged, your pets could escape and the security of your yard and home will be compromised.

4] A Flood Mitigation Company

If your home gets flooded or suffers water damages, you'll need someone to come out and extract the water and/or dry out the affected areas. Flood mitigation companies usually have truck mounted water extraction vacuums, drying fans, dehumidifiers, and other specialized drying equipment used specifically for structural drying. They can also be very helpful in reducing the risk of toxic mold growth. (TIP: If you can't find a flood mitigation company and need someone to extract flood water, consider using a carpet cleaning company.)

5] A Moving or Pack Out Company

If your home is seriously damaged by a storm or flood, you may need to have your furniture, clothes, and personal property packed up and moved out. This is usually necessary so the structural repairs or cleaning can be done. (TIP: Be wary of scams when hiring a moving or pack out company! Read Chapter 5 and Chapter 14 in The Red Guide to Recovery - Resource Handbook for Disaster Survivors for more information.)

6] A Restoration Contractor

These companies usually have the capability to perform most or all of the previously mentioned services. They can also be a valuable asset when it comes time to create an estimate for the repairs and work with your insurance adjuster. A good restoration company can provide the immediate services you may need after a storm, as well as help expedite the restoration and recovery process.

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