March, April and May are often filled with gentle breezes and fresh blossoms but spring can also usher in meteorological chaos. Tornadoes, microbursts, derechos and thunderstorms – all can wreak devastating havoc in minutes with little warning. Indeed, spring is a particularly volatile season.
Prudent property owners take preventative measures to limit damage – trimming trees close to structures, stowing outdoor furniture when not in use – but knowing what to do if damage does occur can speed response and restoration. Here are three steps to take after the storm inflicts minor damage:
- Place important phone calls. Contact loved ones and insurance carriers to apprise them of the situation; ask insurance companies for a list of authorized mitigation and restoration companies. If utilities such as electricity are affected, let the power company know about your outage. If the storm has affected large areas of the community, contact community officials for information about services available and access local news sources for important announcements.
- Resist the urge to address the damage yourself. Mitigation and restoration companies like Paul Davis handle dangerous conditions and exposed areas quickly with specific measures that facilitate longer-term repair plans. It’s safest to let professionals remove broken glass, board up broken windows or climb ladders to drape tarpaulins across damaged roofs, particularly because storm debris often makes this work hazardous.
- From a safe distance, document the damage. Restoration companies and insurance carriers may find photographs helpful as the open claims and schedule repairs.
If you emerge from a basement or storm shelter to discover catastrophic damage, stay safe by following these three steps:
- Carefully exit damaged structures and relocate to a safe area away from the building. Make sure that everyone that had been in the building is accounted for and safe. If people are missing or injured, place an immediate call to emergency services and police. If phone service is unavailable, try signaling for emergency personnel with whistles, flags, flares or signs.
- Don’t enter unsafe areas to retrieve important items. Damaged structures may be unstable, littered with sharp debris or contaminated with dangerous materials like heating oil, sewage or natural gas.
- Notify the same parties as above as soon as possible: loved ones, insurance carriers, community officials and utilities. Notify places of employment, too. The storm may have affected workplaces and business operations. Maintain contact with community officials for information about services available and access local news sources frequently for important announcements.
Because unpredictable spring storms can inflict damage ranging from a downed limb to a completely destroyed home, Paul Davis is always ready to help people recover from disasters large and small. When it comes to this volatile season, This Is No Time For Second Best®