A wind storm local forecasters call “the storm of the century” blows through and severely damages your roof. A thunderstorm with grapefruit-sized hail strikes with very little warning. Or a fire at your neighbor’s house spreads and does some damage to your home as well. None of those prospects sound appealing, but all are possible. Some are more possible than others depending on where you live (for instance, states like Texas and Florida see a lot of thunderstorms, while lightning and thunder are less common west of the Rocky Mountains). When calamity strikes, focus on two things.
Fixing your house
As soon as it’s safe to do so, you should make an informal evaluation of the damage you’ve suffered. If it helps, take notes about how things look now; they may be helpful when talking to your insurance agent later. Don’t wait too long to call your insurance company, either, especially if it’s a large-scale natural disaster like a tornado or flood. If it hit other members of your community, then that means insurance agencies are about to get really busy in a hurry. Calling as soon as possible might help you avoid being at the back of the line.
You’ll likely need to hire a company that specializes in storm damage (something like VanDam and Krusinga Building and Restoration) to help you clean things up and then restore what’s been damaged to its previous condition. Don’t feel like you need to do it all on your own; that’s only going to stress you out more, and you’ve already got so much on your plate. It’s way better to call around and find a company that you can trust to get the job done for a reasonable rate. Sure, you can do some basic cleaning, but don’t attempt to do something like remediate mold all by yourselves. That requires very specific procedures that most people aren’t equipped to do on their own.
Fixing your head
We heard about post-traumatic stress disorder occasionally, but that doesn’t mean we understand it. We tend to think it can only affect people who have been through the very worst of the worst, like people who fought in a war or refugees who fled a war-torn country. It certainly can and does people who have lived through things like that, but it can also be a problem with people who have gone through things like car accidents or natural disasters. If you’re feeling anxious a lot, or if you’re constantly reliving the incident and wondering what you could have done differently, then that’s a sign that you might benefit from a few sessions with a trained counselor. You may not have full-blown PTSD, but it’s natural to feel anxious or depressed. It’s not a sign of weakness, and you shouldn’t have to live with a panic attack every time there’s tornado watch.
It’s also important to take concrete steps to help yourself feel more secure. That may mean making some changes to your home. If the roof peeled off, maybe it’s time to install residential metal roofing from a company like Everlast Roofing. Metal roofing is generally considered more durable, so maybe that will give you some peace of mind. If you live in a tornado-prone area, it may help to look at installing an underground storm shelter on your property. You can’t predict the future, but you can take steps to prepare for it.
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