How to Recover After Storm Damage

To recover after storm damage you will need to photograph the damage, secure your property, file and insurance claim, and repair or replace damaged items. Use this after storm checklist to help identify the items you should begin working on immediately.


  1. Image titled Recover After Storm Damage Step 1
    Take pictures of the damage caused by the storm should be the first step in your storm damage recovery.
    • Photograph the outside of your home and any property that has been damaged during the storm, such as outbuildings or decks.
    • Photograph the inside of your home and any interior property that has been damaged before you move anything.
    • Interior and exterior pictures should be taken from multiple angles to ensure they accurately portray the extent of the damage.
    • If trees or other debris, such as a neighbor's lawn ornaments, have damaged your home, photograph them as well.
    • All pictures should be taken before any preliminary repair work begins.
  2. Image titled Recover After Storm Damage Step 2
    Secure the structure before you leave, if there is no imminent danger forcing you to evacuate immediately.
    • If the roof has been damaged, cover the areas that could be exposed to the elements with a tarpaulin.
    • Cover broken windows with plastic sheeting or plywood.
    • Exterior walls that have sustained damage should be covered with plywood or plastic sheeting.
    • Remove valuable items from the home prior to leaving for an extended period as the damage to your home may make it more easily accessible for thieves.
  3. Image titled Recover After Storm Damage Step 3
    Find a copy of your homeowners insurance and determine if the damage exceeds your deductible. If it does, you will need to file an insurance claim.
    • Contact your local insurance office and advise them that your home has been damaged and that you would like to file a claim.
    • Have the pictures you took of the damage printed, or transferred to a CD, and provide them to your claims adjuster.
    • Obtain quotes for repair work to your home and replacement cost estimates on any items that were damaged during the storm and give them to your claims adjuster.
    • If you buy replacement items, such as a television, computer, microwave, light fixtures, or carpet, be sure to keep a copy of the receipt. Photocopy your receipts before submitting them to your claims adjuster.
  4. Image titled Recover After Storm Damage Step 4
    Repair damage caused by the storm as the final step of your after storm recovery plan.
    • If the damage is minimal, and there are no city or state codes prohibiting it, you can complete repairs yourself.
    • For more serious home repairs, you will need to obtain the services of a general contractor who is licensed in your state and familiar with building codes in your area.
    • To enhance your chances of hiring a contractor who will complete the project in a competent and timely manner there are several things you should do. Request a copy of the company's state license and insurance, pictures of past work, and telephone numbers for customer's whose work has been completed in the past year.

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Categories: Storms