The first days after a disaster are filled with chaos and discovery after discovery of what we and our neighbors have lost. It is common to be confused, have a hard time making decisions, and wonder what to do. As one who has been there, I offer these first essential actions. In later blogs I will discuss other essentials for recovery, for healing.
If you or someone you know has been impacted by a disaster, these are some steps to take:
- First – Ensure you and your family are safe.
- If your disaster received a FEMA Declaration, be sure to register with FEMA even if you have insurance. Sometimes a few months in, survivors discover their insurance is inadequate for repair and rebuild. If that should happen to you, you will be able to submit a request for assistance to FEMA. In addition, your loss information helps with total loss numbers for Public Assistance from FEMA for your community to restore infra-structure.
(800) 621-3362 / TTY (800) 462-7585
If your disaster does not receive a FEMA Declaration, pay close attention to local media for instructions on how to receive assistance.
- File insurance claims.
- Be sure you do not change the status of your property significantly before you have FEMA and insurance inspections.
• Remember to stay close to your family and friends, tell your story to good listeners, and take care of yourself with good rest, nutrition, exercise, hydration, relaxation.