Preparing for Disaster

By: Karli Willden

Disaster can strike at any time, whether it be the result of a natural disaster or a burst pipe.  Flooding caused by storms or bad pipes can destroy your home and require lots of work to restore.  Gusts of wind can cause a branch to fall and knock out your roof, or a fire can start.  Whatever the cause, a disaster is sure to cause worry and stress.  Minimize that stress and prepare for a disaster by getting a plan in place.  Follow these steps to prepare for disaster.

  1. Purchase homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance—If you own your own home, it is important to have homeowner’s insurance.  If you rent, you should get renter’s insurance. Your personal property may not be covered if something happens to the property you rent if you do not have renter’s insurance.  Know what your insurance covers.  Often flood and earthquake coverage require additional coverage.  Read through your policies so that you understand what is covered.  
  2. Save money for the deductible—Depending on your insurance, you may have a deductible to cover before the insurance policy pays. Start saving now so that you have the money to cover the deductible in case something happens.  
  3. Inventory your property—Make a list of your property, record serial numbers for expensive items like electronics, save receipts for expensive items, and take pictures that can be used if needed.  
  4. Make copies of your policies—Keep a list of inventory along with your policies in a separate location from your home.  Make sure you have the number of your insurance agent so that you know who to call if disaster strikes.  
  5. Make a plan for what to do when disaster occurs—Decide now, what steps you will take and what you will do if a disaster happens.  Having a plan now, will help you know what to do in the event of a problem. 

Your Disaster Plan

Planning ahead can help you prepare for a disaster.  Sit down and make a plan for what steps you will take after a disaster occurs.  Once you’ve made sure that your family is safe, consider these steps.  

  • Call Tobin Restoration and Cleaning—Any delay on restoration and clean-up can cause thousands of dollars in damage. Calling your agent—and likely not reaching them right away—will cause a delay. Tobin can help you get started on temporary repairs and make plans to restore your home to its previous condition.
  • Make temporary repairs—Some damages require immediate attention and cannot wait until an insurance claim is processed.  Be sure to take pictures before you begin work and save any receipts from work done.  Board up holes in windows, roof and walls, cover furnishings with tarps or store somewhere else, remove water and ventilate areas where water damage occurred, clean bedding, furniture, and rugs, have electrical equipment checked by a professional before using and prevent rust by drying metal objects.  
  • Call your insurance, and get your claim started—One of your first steps, after ensuring your family’s safety, is to contact your insurance to get your claim started.  Your agent will help walk you through the steps and let you know what to expect.  
  • Work with your contractor to complete the restoration—Tobin works with all insurances to help you restore your home.  We can help you plan out what needs to be fixed and the best process for putting your home back together.  

What to Look for in a Contractor

Choosing a contractor to do the restoration work can be overwhelming.  You want to feel comfortable that the contractor you choose is someone that you can depend on to do a good job.  When choosing a contractor consider these traits.

  • Local—You will want to find a local contractor that is available to make any needed repairs.  Make sure they can provide references and a signed contract.  The signed contract will protect you as well as them.  
  • Established—Find an established and known company.  You want to make sure that this is a company with a history of providing excellent service.
  • Reputable—Check with the Better Business Bureau to make sure it is a reputable company.  You can also check references and do an online search for recommendations.   
  • Estimates—Get a few estimates from different companies before you make your decision.  Make sure it is a written estimate in advance of any work being done.  
  • Insurance—Make sure your insurance will work with the contractor.  Don’t get into the process and then find out that they will not cover the work.

Restoration and Cleaning

Tobin Restoration and Cleaning is an established and reputable company that has been helping Idaho Falls families recover from disaster since 1972.  We work with all insurances to make sure your house is restored to your satisfaction.  Call us today to learn more about our services.  

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