Ground Zero: What to do After a Hurricane Hits


Hurricanes can be devastating events that cause billions of dollars in damages to cities and regions. Heavy rains and high winds are just some of the immediate ways that hurricanes can pose a threat to life and property. But after a storm, it’s important to understand the dangers posed to homeowners when beginning the recovery process.

Along with having quality home and flood insurance through an agency like Westwood, the recovery process has a lot of moving parts. If you find yourself in the aftermath of a hurricane this year, here are some steps to take to keep you, your family and property safe.

Assess your property

After a storm has cleared the area, be careful when surveying around your house as there may be downed power lines, gas leaks or other debris. Report loss of power to your utility company.

Check for any structural damage, including the home’s foundation and roof, and then move around to the rest of your property. This should include a survey of any trees on the property, fencing and other buildings like detached garages or sheds for damage and to ensure overall safety.

Contact your insurance provider and open a claim

One of your first calls after family and friends should be to your insurance provider to open a claim. At Westwood we have a dedicated claims page on our website to streamline connecting you with your specific provider. From there, an agent will help you understand what’s covered in your policy, depending on the type of damage, and walk you all the necessary steps that come after.

This is an important step that will detail information such as your deductible, preparing for an insurance adjuster and tips that can help you keep the process moving.

Document the damage

Take photos and videos of any damage to your home and property. Make sure to save the record of damages in one location, so when you begin the insurance claims process and apply for any disaster relief it can be submitted at the same time and not cause any delays.

Also make sure to keep receipts for any out-of-pocket expenses that you may incur, as those can also be submitted to insurance companies or be filed when you do your tax returns.

Only the best (and licensed)

If your home needs extensive repairs, always work with licensed contractors and businesses. Scams are prevalent in the immediate days following a storm and have cost families thousands of dollars in the process.

When looking for companies, always verify their information online and ensure that they are licensed to work in your city, state or region. Ask friends or family for recommendations if they have any and do research on them before reaching out.

Ask for help

Hurricanes are hard for everyone. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. Lifting or removing heavy objects can lead to injury without proper assistance.

You may need a place to stay for an extended period, or you may just need someone to talk to. No matter what, communities get through these events together and there is nothing wrong with asking for help in a time like this.

Having home and flood insurance is integral to your family’s safety and well-being both before and after a storm. Talk with a Westwood agent about your options and coverage today.

Please Note: This article is for general informational and educational purposes only. It does not represent any specific insurance policy and does not modify any provisions, limitations, or exclusions of any current policy.