Being prepared for the storm is really all we can do as a hurricane approaches. However, it’s also important to know what to do AFTER a storm passes. From Virginia Beach up through Newport News and Williamsburg, it looks as though we are going to be spared from the worst of Dorian, but we are still facing strong winds, excessive rain and tidal flooding. If your home is damaged by Dorian or any future hurricane this season, Hatchett Design Remodel wants you to know what to do next.
Governor Northam has not issued mandatory evacuations for Virginia, but municipalities may be ordering evacuations if storm surge predictions worsen. If you are evacuated from your home, stay tuned to local news channels for updates on when it’s safe to return.
Wait for Daylight
It appears that the worst of Dorian will blow through our area Friday evening. Whether you evacuate or bunker down at home, wait until daylight to venture outside to assess the damage. Some damage like roof damage may be difficult to see from the ground, and we do not recommend climbing onto your roof. Try the view from your neighbor’s yard or house – or look for signs of leaks on the ceiling or in your the attic.
Be sure to take your phone with you in case you need to take pictures.
Avoid Flood Water
Avoid walking through flood waters without protective clothing, such as hip waders and water proof gloves. Flood water is contaminated and may lead to illness or disease. For this reason, do not allow children to play in flood waters.
Do not drive through water, especially if there are downed power lines present. Even if there are no power lines, there is a high likelihood of hazardous debris or sink holes that you can’t see.
Use Extreme Caution
Fallen trees may have brought power lines down with them. If a tree pulls power lines down onto your home, stay out of the house until work crews remove the power lines.
No Open Flames
Do not use matches (or an open flame of any kind) in storm ravaged areas until you are certain that potentially damaged gas lines have been checked and/or repaired. If you smell gas, turn off the main if possible, open the windows and leave the building. Then report it to your gas company.
Contact your insurance company as soon as possible. Once you receive the claim forms from your insurer, fill them out and submit them immediately. If your home in uninhabitable, keep records and receipts of all emergency living accommodations. Most insurance policies cover these expenses.
Clean Up & Rebuild
During clean up, be sure to wear protective clothing, like goggles, boots, heavy duty work gloves, and hard hats, if possible. Manage tasks so not to overexert yourself during this process. This will be a very trying time, both emotionally and physically. Be sure to pace yourself, drink a lot of water and get regular rest.
When you’re ready to rebuild, work with your contractor to design and build a storm-resistant structure.
All of us at Hatchett Design Remodel are hoping for the best while we prepare for the worst. Stay safe everyone!