Returning to Your Property after a Hurricane

Tree fallen in front of a house after a hurricaneTree fallen in front of a house after a hurricane

After a disaster like a hurricane occurs, if you were required to or decided to evacuate, it’s important to take the time to consider what you need before you return to your home or business.

Return to your property or business only after authorities advise it is safe to do so. Keep informed and up-to-date on any changes in weather or related conditions, or any guidance from authorities, by listening to the radio, TV or various social media sources. The hurricane may have produced hazards and other potentially unsafe conditions, such as downed wires/power lines, gas leaks, remaining flood water, animals, damaged trees and other debris. Remain cautious when you return to your home or business.

Your personal safety and the safety of others during the recovery effort is the primary concern. You want to assess what provisions, tools, supplies and assistance you may need based on disaster area conditions. The availability of critical resources such as water, electricity and food, or services such as police, fire and medical may be limited.

The following websites provide useful information related to post-storm recovery tips:

Assessing Your Property

Once you have been given the OK to be allowed back into your home or business, carefully inspect the property and building for damage. You want to consider your home or business during the period of restoration as a work zone. You may not be fully aware of physical, chemical or biological hazards and may need to properly protect yourself using personal protective equipment, such as a hard hat, gloves, boots, safety glasses and a dust mask. If your property has been damaged, document conditions and promptly report the claim.

Here are other considerations:

  • As you identify hazardous conditions, protect yourself and others by setting up barricades and posting signage, as appropriate.
  • Do not energize electrical or electronic equipment that may have suffered water damage without first having it inspected and/or tested by a qualified electrician.
  • Be aware of any wildlife, such as snakes, that may have found their way into your home or building. Flood responders have historically encountered a surprising number of snakes that have found their way into a home or structure after an event.

Restoring Your Property

Not all hazardous conditions may be readily apparent during your initial assessment. Throughout your recovery, consider hiring qualified professionals experienced in restoration services. Licensed restoration companies can be found by consulting the Better Business Bureau for recommendations.

If you are a Travelers customer, please see Travelers Emergency Response for additional information.

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