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What to do after a Hail Storm?
Hail is basically frozen rain drops and if you are out when there is a little hail it would feel like someone is showering you with small stones! So you definitely don’t want to imagine what it would be like in a hail storm when there is hail, rain and strong winds altogether. Hail storms can destroy the roof of your house or the bonnet or windshield of your car. It can bring down cables and power lines which can further destruct life and property.
- If you are out somewhere on a street then your first priority should be it get to some place safe.
- Drive safely as you will most definitely find tree branches at the verge of falling down. Sometimes you may see traffic jams due to trees that have got uprooted!
- Power lines may have got cut and chances of being electrocuted are more with the water collecting at various places.
- If your house has been impacted and the rain has entered, be careful not to turn on any electrical appliances that may be soaked. It would be a good idea to put on a pair of gloves and boots.
- Broken glass can be equally dangerous. Get any remaining cracked glass off the window panes before it can cause any further problems.
The Next steps
You cannot afford to sit without taking any action after the hail storm. Rain water that has entered can continue to affect the roof, walls and floors as it seeps in through the wood very quickly.
- If you can take videos or pictures of the damage to the house or car due to hail it becomes easy to make claims with your insurance company.
- Remove all items that are soaked in the house or car and let them dry in one area.
- Segregate the damaged items that you can make claims for and store them away for inspection. If you list them down, it will be easier while speaking to the insurance company
- If you have plywood planks stashed away, you can use them to temporarily to fix your damaged roof.
Contacting the Insurance Company
- Try to contact the insurance company at the earliest and inform them of the hail storm and the damage caused. They are bound to ask questions and expect details from you regarding the extent of the same
- If there are pictures and videos of the condition of your car or house, or the notes you made on damaged belongings, it expedites the claims process.
- It would also be helpful to have the credit card statements or serial numbers or manuals of the belongings or electrical appliances you are making your claims for.
- Temporary repairs may be required so you can go about your routines, so get the repairs done but keep the receipts.
- The insurance companies prefer that you wait until a claims agent comes and checks the extent of the damage before you do any permanent repairs.
- Some insurance companies will also help get your car fixed after they have examined the damages and estimated the cost of repairs. But this would depend on the existing policy terms and conditions.
- If you think this is an opportunity to make some home improvements, it is noteworthy that the insurance policy usually doesn’t cover these but covers for replacing an item with the same material that existed earlier. If you had false roofing made of Plaster of Paris (PoP) earlier, they will replace with PoP not wood or tile. However you can go ahead and make these improvements after discussing with the insurance company and if you can pay the difference amount.
There are various forms of insurance policies for hail damage. You may have a basic one or the one with wind and hail damage All these will have different premiums and the extent of coverage available to you will vary. So the key is to understand the policy clearly so you know how to work things out easily.
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Tying up loose ends before moving
Packing is almost done. Mover selected. Moving date is fast approaching. You think in your mind- finally it is all done and over with; I have to just see the movers do their job and then it is all a fresh beginning and a great new start that awaits me. But hold that thought for just a little while longer if you aren’t through with this to-do list!
You don’t want to be coming back to your old house or area every now and then to tie some loose ends which you would much rather finish now. And if the new home is far away, these odd tasks could pinch you hard!
- Have you cleaned the old house to ensure that when the landlord inspects the house, he has no reason to hold back your deposit?
- Have you settled all the bills such as those for electricity, water, gas or maintenance?
- Have you decided whether you will cancel the services for these utilities or you will transfer them? You will have to cancel them in the event where you are moving to a different state or country while you may choose to transfer them if you are moving to a house in the same town.
- Have you settled all accounts with neighbors and folks nearby? Have you returned everything you borrowed or picked up everything that was borrowed from you?
- Do you still have to pick up stuff from the drycleaners down the street or do you have to return any book at the library?
- Have you informed various institutions like the bank, loan agencies, credit card agencies, and internet service provider of the change in address? You do not want to skip or be late on your payments because you didn’t get their correspondence or reminders in time.
- You might also want to inform your friends and family of your move and change in address and make a visit to the post-office to do the necessary formalities so they can send out future mails to your new address.
These days most of these can be completed online but ensure its taken care-of. For those which require your physical presence you need to make time.
Specific items that’s easily missed…
Packing and moving can bring your entire house to a complete turmoil. In this confusion most often the crucial items are forgotten or misplaced.
- Have you secured and packed all your certificates like those of birth, marriage or education and other documents such as passport and social security card? Your child’s vaccination record or documents pertaining to insurances are of at most importance. It is best you personally carry these items when you finally make the move.
- The same applies to jewelry and any other expensive items that are miniature sized and easily lost in a house that’s in disorder.
- Have you prepared an emergency or first-aid pack? Keep this handy as there is always a chance anyone in your house may need it at any time.
- Do you have a telephone directory in your essentials box that will help you stay connected with friends and family and reach out to any sources of help that you may need in the new place like doctors, clinics, fire-station or your bank?
- Make a list of all the boxes that have been packed along with a brief on their contents so that you can unpack in an organized way.
The New Place needs your attention too…
We tend to be so absorbed with all that’s happening in the present house that we overlook and sometimes assume that we can take care of a lot of items in the new abode much later. If you work on these earlier, the transition is so much smoother.
- Have you had the chance to get the new house cleaned once, before moving in? It is best to vacuum the carpets and get the kitchen and bathroom cleaned up as these will be in use from the word go!
- It will be a good idea to put up the washed curtains in advance or have the blinds fixed so that you have your privacy the instant you move in.
- Have you checked on all the safety measures? Bring in a fire extinguisher and check the smoke detectors and be aware as to where the main water valve and circuit breakers are.
- It would be wise to get the locks changed if the house or apartment was owned or rented before. Many instances of the keys could be with different people and you don’t want to risk the security of your house.
With the packing done and this checklist over with, can be relaxed until the movers have done their job. Now all you need is to get going with your life at the new abode.