In the world of storm damage, a tree falling on your home is just about as bad as it can get. When a tree falls on your home, knowing what to do next can help you have the best response to the worst situation. From evacuating to finding a tree removal service, this is what you should do when a tree falls on your home:
Before anything else, you have to evacuate your home. Make your way quickly but calmly out of your house. Assist any member of your household who can’t manage on their own. If doors have been blocked, use the window to leave the building. Even if the damage from the tree seems minor, a home isn’t safe to be in until it’s been assessed. Structural damage doesn’t always show up immediately.
Once you’re out of the house, contact emergency services if things seem serious, or your police department directly if things are calm. Professionals will have to make sure that there isn’t further risk from the downed tree. The electric company may have to turn off power to the street, and so on, to ensure the area is safe.
Call Your Insurance Company
Once you’ve called emergency services and gotten out safely, it’s time to call your insurance company. Many policies will require you to get pre-approval for things like a tree removal service and emergency structural assessments. The sooner you loop your insurance company in, the better. They’ll be able to help you start filing a claim and figuring out what documentation you need.
If it’s safe, take photographs of your property ASAP. The better documented your damage is, the easier it will be to have your claim processed. In the event that it’s not safe for you to document damage (emergency services haven’t cleared you to return to the property, etc.) communicate that to your insurance company ASAP. They will help you proceed from there.
Protect From Additional Damage
If your property isn’t safe to stay in, your work is temporarily done. There’s nothing more you can do until you have the all-clear. If you do receive approval to enter your home, and perhaps stay there, take steps to protect your home from additional damage. Start by spreading tarps around the broken areas. Water damage is common with fallen trees. Seal off doors and areas. If you can safely do so, run dehumidifiers through the house.
A falling tree causes a lot of damage. In your scramble to save your home, don’t forget that your safety comes first. Get out of the damaged house as soon as possible. Notify local authorities and take steps to follow their instructions. Your insurance company will be your biggest ally, from documenting damage to getting pre-approval for tree removal services and beyond. This is stressful, but you can get through it.
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