You had a fire at your property, now what? Whether the fire caused minimal damage or totally destroyed your home, that horrific experience will change your life in many ways.
Although we hope and pray that such a disaster never happens to you, it is always good to be equipped with knowledge of what to expect and the right steps to take to recover emotionally and financially.
If a fire occurs in your home, you will most likely be overwhelmed with emotions and may have a difficult time figuring out what to do and where to go from there.
In this article, we outline some of the things that you are supposed to do to recover after a house fire.
Contact Your Insurance Company and Assess the Damage
The first thing that you need to do in the event of a fire disaster is to contact your home insurance provider. Don’t try to do any cleanup until an insurance agent evaluates the damage and writes a comprehensive report.
Make sure that you take clear pictures of the actual damage and take the necessary steps to prevent any further damage.
However, don’t set foot in the affected areas of your home until the firefighters have cleared the area and declared it safe.
Sometimes, your home insurance policy may cover the additional living expenses that you will most likely incur while your home is being repaired or rebuilt.
Create a List of Damaged Items
Creating a comprehensive list of items-both small and big- that were lost or damaged in the fire will ensure that you are fully reimbursed.
Many insurance companies will require detailed information such as the make, model, receipt, and even serial numbers of the items that you claim were lost or damaged in the fire incident.
This can be a little bit difficult if your home was heavily destroyed or if you don’t have access to the information, but you have to try your best to provide proof of loss.
It is also critical to make a comprehensive list of all the critical documents that were lost in the fire that need to be replaced immediately. These items include birth certificates, passports, medical records, title deeds, drivers’ licenses, or tax information.
Find a Place to Stay
We can’t deny the fact that house fires are a terrifying experience, especially for young children and pets. Therefore, finding a safe, comfortable, and peaceful place to relocate, even if it is only for one night, is critical. This will give your family some time to rest as you plan your next steps.
If you want a temporary living area where you can stay for a few months while repairing or rebuilding your home, be sure to contact your trusted Montreal real estate broker who will provide you with an affordable solution.
If you can’t afford such an arrangement and you don’t want to stay at your friend’s place either, reach out to your local disaster relief agency such as the Canadian Red Cross. In most cases, these organizations may provide you with temporary shelter free of charge.
Take Care of Yourself and Your Family
A fire disaster is a traumatic experience, and you could suffer the effects of the trauma for several months afterward.
Allow yourself plenty of time to heal and don’t be afraid to seek counseling if you have trouble concentrating, sleeping, or even relating to other people weeks after the incident.
You should strive to return to your normal routines as soon as possible and help your children cope up with the emotional stress that they may go through after the fire. Talk to your little ones about their feelings and help them to understand what has happened.