After the Storm: Hurricane Disaster Clean Up

After the Storm: Hurricane Disaster Clean Up

What Happens After a Hurricane?

What are the steps to clean up your property and repair any damage?

  • Contact your agent to determine whether coverage for your damage applies.
  • To dry out your building, remove only damaged drywall, carpets and pads, and pull off wet baseboards and cabinet kick plates. Keep samples of any carpets that are removed. Leave your home as well ventilated as possible. Document your damage by taking photographs.
  • If you do the cleaning yourself, be careful not to injure yourself or others. Keep track of the time and money you spend protecting your property. If you decide to use a contractor, get a receipt for the cost of labor and materials to give your claim representative. Do not have any repairs done until you discuss them with your claim representative.
  • To assist with the insurance claim process, be sure to document items you throw out. You can do this by saving your receipts, photographing the items and by making a room-by-room inventory of missing or damaged goods. Include manufacturers’ names, dates and places of purchase and prices.
  • Do not throw out any expensive items, such as large televisions and furniture, until authorized by your claim representative. These items may need to be inspected first.
  • Take all personal property, especially small valuables such as jewelry, to a safe place to avoid theft.
  • Handle antiques, art objects, sterling and brass with special care. Allow them to dry, but do not oil or rub them since this could damage finishes or surfaces.
  • Clean and dry wood furniture as soon as possible. Be careful not to rub in abrasives such as soil or plaster that may have fallen on the surfaces.
  • Try to dry bedding and upholstered furniture that is saturated with water. Don’t store other possessions near these items.
  • Dry and clean any carpets and rugs that have minor water damage. Carpet or rugs that have been saturated with water should be disposed of as noted above.
  • To prevent corrosion, dry any metal objects, such as home appliances and drapery rods, then rub or spray with appropriate cleaning solution.
  • Dry, but don’t oil radios, televisions, and other electronic devices. Any electronic equipment exposed to water should be professionally serviced before use.

Who should be estimating and repairing the damaged property?

  • It’s best to use local and reputable contractors. If there’s any problem with repair work, it’s much easier to have it fixed by a local firm than one from out of town.
  • Check your contractor’s references by calling your Chamber of Commerce or Better Business Bureau. Make sure contractors have the experience to handle your repairs.
  • Be sure to agree on payment terms with the contractor before you sign any contract.

Submit a claim.

Learn more about protecting your property and family in severe weather:

Time and again, the failure to take basic precautions has made hurricanes even more tragic. If you live in a hurricane-prone area, following the steps outlined here can help shield your property against wind and water and prevent injuries to you or your family. 

For more information, use these resources:

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The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm®. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. The information is not intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. Nor is it intended to effect coverage under our policy. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.