Step 2: Secure Your Property
After eliminating water related hazards you should take steps to protect and secure your property and personal belongings from further damage.
It is important to ventilate your property to assist with drying out. However, security is important. Lock and secure your property when not occupied to prevent looting. Keep in mind that alarms may malfunction if the electricity or telephone service has been interrupted.
If your property is looted or vandalized, notify the police immediately. You will, most likely, need a police report to file an insurance claim.
Partially Damaged Properties
If it is not hazardous to do so, consider securing your property to prevent burglary and theft.
Board up broken windows and doors. Cover damaged walls and roofing with plywood. Use plastic sheets or tarps to protect against additional water damage.
After securing the structure, try to salvage your belongings by relocating them to a dry and ventilated part of the structure. This action will make the dry out process much easier.
If you do not feel safe handling this job yourself, get professional help.
Severely Damaged Properties
If your property is too damaged to be secured against burglary, remove your dry valuables to a trusted location such as a home of a friend or a storage unit where they will be kept during the restoration process.
Valuables will include:
- Personal documents
- Money, credit cards, checkbooks, etc.
- Items with sentimental value, like photographs and letters
To protect larger items such as furniture and appliances, you may also want to consider a partial or complete move out.
Whether you secure your property or evacuate it temporarily, the costs are often covered by home owner's insurance policies. Contact your insurance agent to verify the property protection coverage.<!-- <p> <img src="/imgs/ico_tools.gif">Print | Link to this article | Send to a friend | <a href="#">+A</a> <a href="#">-A</a></p> -->
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