By: Erik Braunitzer
Once the Storm has Passed
The following includes information regarding damage control immediately following Hurricane Sandy. Erik Braunitzer is a writer for Douglas Elliman, brokers for NYC, Long Island and Westchester Real Estate.
Returning after Evacuation
Safety is the main issue when it comes to returning to your home after you were evacuated. The power may be out in your area, or even worse, there can be downed power lines. Roads can also have debris on them, making them impassable. You will know if you can return home as you drive close to it. Police or the National Guard will not let residents return to their homes if it is not safe.
Check Your Home For Damages
Once you are able to return to your home, you will want to inspect it for damages. Check both the exterior as well as the interior of your home. Be sure to inspect your roof for any debris that may have fallen on it and blown away, taking roof shingles with it. Carefully inspect for any flood damage. Water can cause many problems now as well as in weeks and months to come. If you feel that you have experienced significant damage, it is time to call your insurance agent. Make sure you list any damage you see that is in direct result of the storm. Take pictures of any damages for your claim.
Restock Emergency Supplies
If you were not evacuated, you may have used some of your emergency supplies. You will want to restock these to be prepared for the next storm. As soon as it is safe to do so, purchase your two-week supply of water, batteries, non-perishable foods and any other items that need replacing.
To be better Prepared for the Future
Take an Inventory of Items
Have an inventory of all your household items that you want included in your insurance policy. Include serial numbers and make and model of electronics. Take pictures of everything. When you are done, put this in a waterproof bag in an area that is well above the floor. You may also want to keep another copy of this information in a safe-deposit box. If there was anything that you didn’t have and needed, now is the time to get a list together of these items.
Don’t Forget About Medications
Maybe you forgot about medications that you will need soon. It is a good idea to be sure you have medications for several days, in case the neighborhood pharmacy isn’t going to be open to fill your prescription.
Other Considerations to be Aware of
If the power is out, ATM machines will not work, so be sure to have some cash-on-hand so you can buy food, gas or other necessities. Be sure to have an evacuation plan in the event you will need to leave before any future storms. Discuss this information with other members of the family so everyone knows what they need to do. Planning ahead of time will help things to go smoothly during a chaotic time.