Homeowner Tips For Recovering After A Natural Disaster

Many homeowners are forced to deal with the reality of leaving their belonging behind and confront the devastation of the aftermath of a natural disaster. In this article, we will explore tips and best practices that can help you deal with the aftermath of a natural disaster.

Where Do I Start First?

First and foremost contact your insurance agent to file a claim. Failure to file a claim with your insurance
company can potentially affect your eligibility for some assistance. For a  flood disaster you’ll need to file
roof of Loss with your insurance company within 60 days of the flood.

  • Inspect the property carefully to identify post-disaster hazards such as ( mold, chemical spills, live wires, structural damages).
  • Take photos of damage to the building and its contents to any document losses.
  • Clean up debris and damage.
  • Keep records and receipts for each cost incurred in cleaning up or repairing your home.
    Homeowners who primary residence was damaged by the natural disaster, should receive a call within
    10 days of submitting a FEMA application from a FEMA home inspector to schedule an appointment to
    visit you. Please keep in mind that in the event of a catastrophic event, all timeframes may be slightly
    If you’re a renter or a homeowner who primary home is in a Presidential Major Disaster
    Declaration area, you may qualify for assistance and should apply for FEMA assistance.
    Visit DisasterAssistance.gov or by visiting FEMA.gov for more information.

    What Happens Next?

    By now you should have filed a claim with your insurance, confirmed that your residence is in a presidentially declared disaster area that is eligible for FEMA(IA) Program.

    The FEMA instructor will assess disaster-caused damage to your real and personal property. Inspectors contractors and not FEMA employees. Here’s what you should keep in mind:

    • Your Inspector will have picture identification

    • You or someone at least 18 years of age, living in the damaged house at the time of
      the disaster must be present for your scheduled appointment.

    Request Hazard Mitigation Grant Program ( HMGP)

    The hazard Mitigation Grant Program provides grants to states and local governments to implement long-term hazard mitigation measures after a Major Disaster Declaration.The program enables mitigation measures to be implemented during the immediate recovery from a disaster. For communities without FEMA-approved hazard mitigation plans, the program also provides funding to help develop plans.

    Keep in mind that homeowners may start their HMGP-funded projects only after notification of approval by their state, tribal or local government official. Any work started before FEMA review and approval is ineligible for funding, which means FEMA will not reimburse the cost for any mitigation work already started or completed prior to FEMA approval. This does not include basic repair work necessary to make the residence habitable.

    You can find information and resources about HMGP from the following:

    • State and Local government websites
    • Traditional media outlets ( newspaper, radio, television, billboards, etc.)
    • Town hall meetings
    If you’re a homeowner that has been affected by natural disaster, make sure to re-enter the home
    with caution and properly inspect the home by contacting an InterNACHI Certified Professional Inspector or FEMA Inspector to properly assess the damage and make the appropriate recommendation.
    If your primary residence is in a presidential major disaster declaration area, you may quality for FEMA assistance. Homeowners should also contact local officials to request Hazard Mitigation Grant Program
    ( HMFP) fund for qualified projects.