Post-Storm Damage Control
An exposed roof can lead to water intrusion and further home damage, so it is the first area of your home you’ll want to assess (and address if damaged) following a major storm. Here are practical steps to mitigate damage while addressing repairs.
• Leave roof inspection to the experts - You can safely perform a visual roof inspection from the ground, but stay off the roof! Accessing or attempting to access a damaged roof can be dangerous or fatal because of the risk of slips or falls. Stay safe, and leave rooftop inspections to the trained professionals.
• Get a professional to cover your roof - Call a roofing contractor or an emergency restoration service firm and have them come out to cover exposed areas with waterproof tarp immediately. In certain disasters, FEMA’s Operation Blue Roof (1-888-ROOF-BLU) will install temporary tarp for affected homeowners free of charge.
• File an insurance claim - Keep your homeowners policy handy and call your insurance company as soon as possible to request an assessment. The insurance company will determine the full scope of the damage, and what repairs are necessary. Call a professional roofing contractor for a comparative assessment. If you find discrepancies, you may ask for a re-inspection, where the insurance adjustor meets with the roofing contractor to review the damage together.
• Keep receipts for temporary repairs - Your insurance company will likely reimburse you.
• Research special loans and grants - Funds may be available to assist you with repairs. Possible sources include FEMA, The American Red Cross, The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety, local governments, and private lenders.
Post-Storm Safety Tips
• If you see frayed wiring or sparks, or if there is a burning odor - immediately shut off the electrical system at the main circuit breaker.
• If you smell gas or suspect a leak - turn off the main gas valve/propane tank, open all windows and leave the house immediately. DO NOT turn on the lights, light matches, smoke, make cell phone calls, or do anything else that could cause a spark.
• AFTER you are a safe distance from the property - notify the gas company, as well as the police or fire department.